The stability of single-sideband (SSB) modulator based recirculating frequency shifter (RFS) is analyzed theoretically. The optimum radio frequency (RF) drive peak-to-peak voltage used to drive the modulator is studied with considering the amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) noise of optical amplifier and crosstalk so as to obtain a maximum overall effective optical signal to noise ratio (OSNR) which is defined to quantify the quality of generated tones. Small desired tones number and lower RF peak-to-peak voltage can reduce the crosstalk effectively. While the trade-off should be considered since the larger desired tones number it is, the higher optimum drive voltage should be used when the SSB-based RFS reached the maximum OSNR. The theoretical results show that the optimum operation condition is helpful to improve the performance of RFS which can be a good application for the T-bit/s optical transmission in practice.
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