Optical pulses generated by current modulation of semiconductor lasers are strongly frequency chirped. This effect has been considered pernicious for optical communications. We take advantage of this effect for the generation of ultrawideband microwave signals by using an optical filter to achieve chirp-to-intensity conversion. We also experimentally achieve propagation through a nonzero dispersion shifted fiber with no degradation of the signal at the receiver. Our method constitutes a prospective low-cost solution and offers integration capabilities with fiber-to-the-customer-premise systems.
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