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Fiber-optic radio-frequency links have been assembled using oxide-confined vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) and multimode fibers. Links with single and multimode VCSELs and with standard and high-bandwidth fibers have been evaluated and compared in the frequency range of 0.1-10 GHz. The best results were obtained for links with a multimode VCSEL and a high-bandwidth fiber. For a 500-m-long link, a spurious free dynamic range of 104 dB·Hz23/ at 2 GHz and 100 dB·Hz23/ at 5 GHz were obtained while allowing for a VCSEL-fiber misalignment of ±12 μm. Corresponding numbers for the intrinsic link gain and noise figure are -29 and -33 dB, and 39 and 42 dB at 2 and 5 GHz, respectively. Inferior performance was observed for the standard fiber link due to a larger variation in modal group velocities. This paper also presents a detailed link analysis to identify performance limitations and to suggest modifications for improved performance.
Date of Publication: July 2004