We experimentally demonstrate the ultra-high range resolution of a photonics-based microwave radar using a high repetition rate actively mode-locked laser (AMLL). The transmitted signal and sampling clock in the radar originate from the same AMLL to achieve a large instantaneous bandwidth. A Ka band linearly frequency modulated signal with a bandwidth up to 8 GHz is successfully generated and processed with the electro-optical upconversion and direct photonic sampling. The minor lobe suppression (MLS) algorithm is adopted to enhance the dynamic range at a cost of the range resolution. Two-target discrimination with the MLS algorithm proves the range resolution reaches 2.8 cm. The AMLL-based microwave-photonics radar shows promising applications in high-resolution imaging radars having the features of high-frequency band and large bandwidth.
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