We describe a comprehensive computational model for single-loop and dual-loop optoelectronic oscillators (OEOs). The model takes into account the dynamical effects and noise sources that are required to accurately model OEOs. By comparing the computational and experimental results in a single-loop OEO, we determined the amplitudes of the white noise and flicker noise sources. We found that the flicker noise source contains a strong component that linearly depends on the loop length. Therefore, the flicker noise limits the performance of long-cavity OEOs (⪆ 5 km) at low frequencies (f < 500 Hz). The model for a single-loop OEO was extended to model the dual-loop injection-locked OEO (DIL-OEO). The model gives the phase-noise, the spur level, and the locking range of each of the coupled loops in the OEO. An excellent agreement between theory and experiment is obtained for the DIL-OEO. Due to its generality and accuracy, the model is important for both designing OEOs and studying the physical effects that limit their performance. We demonstrate theoretically that it is possible to reduce the first spur in the DIL-OEO by more than 20 dB relative to its original performance by changing its parameters. This theoretical result has been experimentally verified.
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