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16 August 1994 Optical parametric amplification for detection of weak optical signals
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Laser communication and optical remote sensing systems often require a highly sensitive detection scheme to measure extremely weak optical signals. This is particularly true for a receiver designed for a deep space optical communication link. The conventional direct detection scheme is sensitive to receiver noise and detector quantum efficiency while heterodyne detection requires complex wavefront matching and a highly stable local oscillator. This paper considers a direct detection scheme where the optical signal is amplified by an optical parametric amplifier prior to photodetection. It is shown through analysis and simulation that such a scheme can outperform the direct detection receiver when the gain of the amplifier is large and the detector quantum efficiency falls below a certain value. A method to calculate the value of quantum efficiency below which the preamplifier is useful is presented. Performance comparisons are carried out between direct detection schemes with and without preamplifier. Conditions under which the optical parametric amplifier results in an improvement of the performance of the receiver are pointed out.
© (1994) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Prakash R. Chakravarthi, Hamid Hemmati, and Chien-Chung Chen "Optical parametric amplification for detection of weak optical signals", Proc. SPIE 2123, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies VI, (16 August 1994);

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