Abstract

We propose and experimentally demonstrate a photonic approach to the measurement of the time-difference-of-arrival (TDOA) and the angle-of-arrival (AOA) of a microwave signal. In the proposed system, the TDOA and the AOA are equivalently converted into a phase shift between two replicas of a microwave signal received at two cascaded modulators. The light wave from a CW laser is externally modulated by the microwave signal at the first modulator, which is biased to suppress the optical carrier, leading to the generation of two first-order sidebands, which are further modulated by the phase-delayed microwave signal at the second modulator. Two optical components at the carrier wavelength are generated. The total power at the carrier wavelength is a function of the phase shift due to the coherent interference between the two components. Thus, by measuring the optical power, the phase shift is estimated. The AOA is calculated from the measured phase shifts. In our experiment, the phase shift of a microwave signal at 18 GHz from 160° to 40° is measured with measurement errors of less than ±2.5°.

©2012 Optical Society of America

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