Detailed simulations identify which optical components affect the performance of a radio frequency (RF) and optical comb generator based on an optical loop with a phase modulator. The simulations suggest that the topology of the loop can be modified to give a flatter RF spectrum and a greater resilience to fluctuations in the optical phase length of the loop. Furthermore, a method of filtering the laser's output to reduce the noise floor of the RF comb is proposed and verified. The simulations show that the linewidth of the source is critical to good performance, as are the quality of the sawtooth and the short-term phase stability of the loop. However, the amplified spontaneous emission noise (ASE) from the optical amplifier within the loop is relatively unimportant.
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