Abstract

An optical preamplifier is utilized to improve the signal-to-noise and distortion ratio (SNDR) of intersatellite microwave photonic links employing a Mach–Zehnder modulator under dual-tone modulation. The resulting SNDR at an appropriate direct current (DC) bias phase shift is additionally investigated without small-signal approximation in order to optimize the performance of all the links. It is observed that the most limiting factor degrading the SNDR performance is changed, and the fundamental power is seen to increase more compared with the power of third-order intermodulation (IM3) plus noise due to the optical preamplifier. Thus, SNDR can be improved with respect to the case of a nonoptical preamplifier. For the preamplifier gain of 20 dB and noise figure of 3 dB, an increase of about 24 dB in optimum SNDR is accessible. In addition, the optimum DC bias phase shift is found to be insensitive to the preamplifier gain and noise figure, while the optimum SNDR is sensitive to the preamplifier gain and noise figure.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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