Abstract

We characterize the instability of an rf clock signal caused by free-space transmission of a frequency comb (FC) under typical laboratory conditions. The phase-noise spectra show the involvement of multiple random processes. For a 10m transmission, the rms timing jitter integrated over 1105Hz is 95fs, and the root Allan variance over 1s is 4×1013. The measured Allan variance has a τ1 behavior and an excellent agreement with the phase noise measurement. These results indicate the feasibility of FC-based free-space rf clock distribution over short distances.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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