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Long distance fiber-optic transmission of C-band microwave signals to and from a satellite antenna

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4 Author(s)
Bowers, J.E. ; Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, NJ, USA ; Chipaloski, A.C. ; Boodaghians, S. ; Carlin, J.W.

We demonstrate here the use of high-speed semiconductor lasers and detectors with low loss optical fiber for the transmission of the 500-MHz C-band microwave signal spectrum to and from a satellite antenna. The optical system has low attenuation and large band, width, so the microwave signals can be transmitted directly at the microwave frequency (4 or 6 GHz) over 20 km of fiber without regeneration or qualization. The optical system introduces ≈ 1 dB or less of degradation for both low spectral density QPSK signals and high spectral density FM video signals present in typical satellite transmission systems. For the video signals, the signal to noise after AM conversion was reduced from 56 to 55 dB. The microwave drive level to the laser must be significantly larger (typically > -10 dBm) than the intensity noise of the laser, yet small enough (typically < 10 dBm) to reduce the intermodulation distortion signals to an acceptable level. The laser bias current must be several times threshold so that the resonance frequency is beyond the frequency band of interest (4-6 GHz in this case). A flat modulation response is then obtained, and the intensity noise and intermodulation levels are low.

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Lightwave Technology, Journal of  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 12 )