We demonstrate a new method to improve the performance of photonic assisted analog to digital converters (ADCs) that are based on frequency down-conversion obtained by optical under-sampling. The under-sampling is performed by multiplying the radio frequency signal by ultra-low jitter broadband phase-locked optical comb. The comb wave intensity has a smooth periodic function in the time domain rather than a train of short pulses that is currently used in most photonic assisted ADCs. Hence, the signal energy at the photo-detector output can be increased and the signal to noise ratio of the system might be improved without decreasing its bandwidth. We have experimentally demonstrated a system for electro-optical under-sampling with a 6-dB bandwidth of 38.5 GHz and a spur free dynamic range of 99 dB/Hz 2/3 for a signal with a carrier frequency of 35.8 GHz, compared with 94 dB/Hz2/3 for a signal at 6.2 GHz that was obtained in the same system when a pulsed optical source was used. The optical comb was generated by mixing signals from two dielectric resonator oscillators in a Mach-Zehnder modulator. The comb spacing is equal to 4 GHz and its bandwidth was greater than 48 GHz. The temporal jitter of the comb measured by integrating the phase noise in a frequency region of 10 kHz to 10 MHz around comb frequencies of 16 and 20 GHz was only about 15 and 11 fs, respectively.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics