Abstract

A coherent downconverting microwave photonic link using balanced heterodyne detection of single-sideband modulated optical signals is analyzed and demonstrated. The intermodulation analysis shows that the second-order photodetector nonlinearity can be the limiting factor in the third-order intermodulation spur performance. The link is designed to phase coherently downconvert 17 GHz of bandwidth in an extended K-band (23–45 GHz) to 1–18 GHz to match the capabilities of modern receivers. The application of the link is for a low-loss >20  μs analog buffer. Spur performance of 112.4  dB/Hz(2/3) is demonstrated when background noise is limited by shot noise.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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