This Letter describes the design of an optical amplifier system optimized to reduce the relative intensity noise (RIN) of the input signal, and discloses its performance in terms of intensity noise reduction and bandwidth, without phase noise degradation. This polarization-maintaining amplifier is composed of an erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) cascaded with a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA). The EDFA is sized to feed the SOA with a constant power corresponding to the optimal saturation level for noise reduction, through coherent population oscillations. When properly optimized, such an amplifier provides, simultaneously, 17 dB optical gain, 5.4 dB noise factor, and 20 dB reduction of the input-RIN across a 3 GHz bandwidth, without any electronics feedback loop.
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