Abstract

We demonstrate efficient coherence enhancement of a chirped distributed feedback (DFB) laser for frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) reflectometry. Both sweep nonlinearity and broadband stochastic frequency noises during the laser chirp are efficiently suppressed by a composite feedback loop. The residual frequency error relative to a perfect linear chirp is shown to be about 89 kHz for a laser chirp of 50 GHz in 100 ms, compared with 44 MHz with the loop open. The broadband frequency noise suppression of the frequency-swept laser greatly improves its coherence, leading to a higher signal-to-noise ratio and a significantly extended measurement range in FMCW reflectometry ranging. We demonstrate a 2 mm transform-limited spatial resolution at a range window of 50 m and a 17.5 cm spatial resolution at an extended measurement range of 750 m, which is about 15 times the intrinsic laser round-trip coherence length.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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