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We demonstrate experimental post-compensation of ultra-wideband (UWB) antenna dispersion at a receiver front-end by using programmable microwave photonic phase filtering. After the received RF signal is modulated onto an optical carrier, we utilize a hyperfine resolution optical pulse shaper to apply the conjugate of its spectral phase in the optical domain. After optical-to-electronic conversion, this yields an electrical waveform, which is compressed to bandwidth-limited duration. Further we use this technique in two schemes: a radar configuration in which we resolve two close echoes from different paths, which initially interfere and mask each other due to the dispersed response of the antenna link, and a spread-time UWB transmission configuration in which we retrieve and compress a distorted signal received in line-of-sight. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental demonstration of dispersion post-compensation of UWB RF waveforms to approach the ultimate bandwidth-limited resolution, as well as identification of such signals by matched filtering and compression. Our technique is programmable and offers potential to enhance performance in UWB radar and communications.
Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:57 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: April 2009