Abstract

The noise figure (NF) of a dual-pumped parametric amplifier with copolarized pumps is quantified for the first time to our knowledge. It is shown that the NF is increased by the noise on the pump sources, in agreement with theory, and that it gives a uniform NF degradation due to a uniform gain spectrum. The magnitude of the NF degradation increases with increasing input-signal power. Various aspects of the NF are studied, such as the effects of three idlers generated by the four-sideband interaction, and Raman-induced losses and excess noise caused by the population of thermal phonons. It is shown that the use of unequal pump powers only affects the low-power NF to a minimal degree. Also, the gain dependence of the NF is studied, as are the wavelength and signal power dependences of the NF. It is shown that at high gain, the NF saturates even when pump noise is an issue. Also, unequal pump powers with fixed gain have a minor impact on the noise performance of the amplifier. Theory and experiments agree well with each other.

© 2007 IEEE

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