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Optical generation of arbitrary chirps

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Radio-frequency chirped waveforms (RFCWs) with broad bandwidth and dynamically tunable parameters are of fundamental interest to a wide range of important practical applications, including radar, imaging, metrology, spectroscopy etc. In recent years, photonic-assisted solutions have been demonstrated to overcome the bandwidth and flexibility constraints of purely-electronic RFCW generation techniques.

However, state-of-the-art photonic techniques require the use of broadband mode-locked lasers or fast electronics, which significantly increase the complexity and cost of the resulting platforms, while suffering from poor stability and limited tuning performance. In the frame of a collaboration between LIPhy (Université Grenoble Alpes/CNRS) and INRS (Montreal, Canada), we demonstrated a novel concept for photonic generation of fully reconfigurable broadband RFCWs using an extremely simple architecture, involving a single CW laser, a recirculating frequency-shifting loop, and standard low-frequency (MHz range) electronics. All the chirp waveform parameters, namely sign and value of the chirp rate, central frequency and bandwidth, chirp duration and repetition rate, are reconfigurable We experimentally report the generation of mutually-coherent RF chirps with bandwidth above 28 GHz, and time-bandwidth product exceeding 1000, limited only by the available detection bandwidth. The unprecedented capabilities and flexibility of this simple and low-cost platform fulfills the stringent requirements for a wide range of real-world applications.

These results have been published in Nature Communications.
Contact : Hugues Guillet de Chatellus

Voir en ligne : Reconfigurable photonic generation of broadband chirped waveforms using a single CW laser and low-frequency electronics Hugues Guillet de Chatellus, Luis Romero Cortés, Côme Schnébelin , Maurizio Burla & José Azaña, Nature Comm. 2018