An RF Photonic Auto-correlator Using Sideband Dispersion in a Fiber Optic Loop

Report No. ARL-TR-5351
Authors: Michael R. Stead, Weimin Zhou, and Ming-Chiang Li
Date/Pages: September 2010; 16 pages
Abstract: We have demonstrated a new radio frequency (RF)-photonic, true time-domain auto-correlation processor using a fiber-optic recirculation loop circuit. An RF microwave input signal is carried by laser light using amplitude modulation and is sent into an optical fiber loop circuit. The dispersion of the optical fiber causes the two modulation sidebands to travel with slightly different speeds, creating a progressively larger phase delay with each transit around the loop. This stepped delay is used to perform the auto-correlation of the RF signal. This has potential applications such as an RF channelizer and spectrum analyzer for pulsed RF signals.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2010