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Authors: K. Van Gasse, Z. Wang, S. Uvin, J. Marien, L. Thomassen, G. Roelkens
Title: Ka-to-L-band frequency down-conversion using a micro-photonic IIIV-on-silicon mode-locked laser and Mach-Zehnder modulator
Format: International Conference Proceedings
Publication date: 10/2016
Journal/Conference/Book: International Conference on Space Optics
Location: Biarritz, France
Internal Reference: [N-1923]
Download: Download this Publication (392KB) (392KB)


Being an integral part of communication systems, frequency conversion based on integrated microwave photonic technology surpasses its electronic counterpart in terms of weight, bandwidth and size. In this work we present a IIIV/Si Photonic Integrated Circuit-based down-conversion scheme that successfully converts 5 Ka-band channels with a 500 MHz bandwidth to L-band. The operation principle is based on the modulation of short optical pulses from a mode-locked laser (MLL) by the incoming RF signal. As shown in Fig. 1, an optical pulse train is fed into a Mach-Zehnder Modulator (MZM), which functions as a frequency mixer [1]. The two arms of the MZM are separately driven by the incoming RF signal and a tunable local oscillator (LO). When the two modulated optical signals are beating on a photodetector, various IF signals will be generated, by which the Ka band RF signal is effectively down-converted to L band. Flexible channel selection can be achieved by tuning the LO frequency while keeping the MLL repetition rate constant. In the presented case, the MLL with a fundamental repetition rate of 2.658 GHz is harmonically mode-locked at a repetition rate of 15.584 GHz, while the LO is varied between 2.918 and 4.918 GHz to down-convert five RF channels varying from 27.75 GHz to 29.75 GHz.

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