Abstract

A novel approach to implementing instantaneous microwave frequency measurement based on simultaneous optical phase modulation and intensity modulation with improved measurement range and resolution is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. The simultaneous optical phase modulation and intensity modulation are implemented using a polarization modulator (PolM) in conjunction with an optical polarizer. The phase- and intensity-modulated optical signals are then sent to a dispersive element, to introduce chromatic dispersions, which results in two complementary dispersion-induced power penalty functions. The ratio between the two power penalty functions has a unique relationship with the microwave frequency. Therefore, by measuring the microwave powers and calculating the power ratio, the microwave frequency can be estimated. Thanks to the complementary nature of the power penalty functions, a power ratio having a faster change rate versus the input frequency, i.e., a greater first-order derivative, is resulted, which ensures an improved measurement range and resolution. The proposed approach for microwave frequency measurement of a continuous-wave and a pulsed microwave signal is experimentally investigated. A frequency measurement range as large as 17 GHz with a measurement resolution of ${\pm} 0.2$ GHz for a continuous-wave microwave signal and ${\pm}0.5$ GHz for a pulsed microwave signal is achieved.

© 2009 IEEE

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