Skip to Main Content
We describe the operating principle, practical implementation, and experimental evaluation of a synchronous homodyne coherent optical receiver based on an optical phase-locking scheme that combines optical injection locking of the semiconductor laser local oscillator (LO) with low-speed electronic feedback to give both a large locking bandwidth and a wide tracking range. We demonstrate phase-error variance as low as 0.002 rad2 in 10-GHz bandwidth for locking to a continuous-wave (CW) signal for a combined signal and LO linewidth of 1.5 MHz (full-width at half-maximum), and robust phase locking to a 10-Gb/s binary amplitude-shift-keyed (ASK) signal, enabling synchronous back-to-back demodulation of the signal with low bit error ratio (BER <; 10- 10) and improved performance compared to direct detection at low optical SNR (OSNR). By locking to a low-power CW pilot carrier in the polarization orthogonal to the data signal, demodulation of binary phase-shift-keyed (BPSK) data has been achieved, with the required OSNR at BER = 10-3 reduced by 3 dB compared to demodulation of ASK data under the same conditions. The OSNR penalty after transmission of the ASK and BPSK signals over 40 km of standard single-mode fiber was 1-2 dB at BER = 10-3, indicating that the chromatic dispersion sensitivity of the coherent receiver is similar to that for direct detection, and verifying that the scheme for locking to the orthogonal pilot is applicable to transmission systems, provided that optical polarization tracking is employed. In addition, we demonstrate frequency-selective operation of the coherent receiver, demultiplexing and demodulating one of a pair of equal power, 10 Gb/s, ASK channels separated by 17.5 GHz, with OSNR penalty at BER = 10- 3 of 1.5 dB compared to single-channel operation.