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The additive RF phase noise of a microwave photonics link is measured using, as the optical source, a semiconductor laser operating in the Class-A regime. The relative intensity noise of this laser being below the shot noise relative level, the phase noise floor of the link is shown to be shot noise limited, -152 dBc/Hz in our experimental conditions. As a result, the phase noise floor evolves as the inverse of the detected photocurrent, pushing the limits of performance to the availability of high power photo-detectors. Below 6 kHz from the carrier frequency at 3 GHz, some noise, in excess with respect to the shot noise limit, is observed but remains lower than -110 dBc/Hz at 100 Hz offset frequency. This residual noise originates mainly from technical noise and can be reduced by isolating the laser from acoustic/electromagnetic perturbations.
Date of Conference: Sept. 9 2008-Oct. 3 2008