25 February 2008 An actively mode-locked fiber laser for sampling in a wide-bandwidth opto-electronic analog-to-digital converter
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Abstract
We have designed, built and tested an actively mode-locked fiber laser, operating at 1550 nm, for use as the sampling waveform in an opto-electronic analog-to-digital converter (ADC). Analysis shows that, in order to digitize a 10-GHz signal to 10 bits of resolution, the sampling pulsewidth must be less than 2.44 ps, the RMS timing jitter must be below 31.0 fs, and the RMS amplitude jitter must be below 0.195%. Fiber lasers have proven to have the capability to narrowly exceed these operating requirements. The fiber laser is a "sigma" laser consisting of Er-doped gain medium, dispersion-compensating fiber, nonlinear fiber, a Faraday rotation mirror, polarization-maintaining fiber and components, and diode pump lasers. The active mode-locking is achieved by a Mach-Zehnder interferometer modulator, driven by a frequency synthesizer operating at the desired sampling rate. A piezo-electric element is used in a feedback control loop to stabilize the output PRF against environmental changes. Measurements of the laser output revealed the maximum nominal PRF to be 16 GHz, the nominal pulsewidth to be 7.2 ps, and the nominal RNS timing jitter to be 386 fs. Incorporating this laser into a sampling ADC would allow us to sample a 805-MHz bandwidth signal to a resolution of 10 bits as limited by timing jitter. Techniques to reduce the timing-jitter bottleneck are discussed.
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John P. Powers, Phillip E. Pace, "An actively mode-locked fiber laser for sampling in a wide-bandwidth opto-electronic analog-to-digital converter", Proc. SPIE 6873, Fiber Lasers V: Technology, Systems, and Applications, 687322 (25 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.774972; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.774972
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