In conventional real-time electrooptical signal processors, the variation of the output intensity with time is directly detected with a photodetector. As a result of this, any information carried in the phase of the light is lost. However, if the light is detected coherently, i.e., it is heterodyned with another coherent local oscillator light source on the detector surface, the phase associated with the amplitude of the light may be preserved. This paper presents the results of a theoretical and experimental study of the properties of real-time electrooptical spectrum analyzers with coherent detection. Basic equations of operation are presented and discussed, and confirmed by experiment, and it is concluded that the construction of such devices is feasible.
© 1967 Optical Society of America
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