Photonic analog-to-digital coonversion using a robust symmetrical number system
Fisher, Adam S.
Pace, Phillip E.
Powers, John P.
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A photonic analog-to-digital converter (ADC) based on a robust symmetrical number system (RSNS) was constructed and tested. The analog signal to be converted is used to amplitude modulate an optical pulse from a laser using three Mach-Zehnder interferometers (MZI). The Mach-Zehnder interferometers fold the input analog signal for a three-channel RSNS encoding. The folding waveforms are then detected and amplitude-analyzed by three separate comparator banks, the outputs of which are used to determine a digital representation of the analog signal. This design uses the RSNS preprocessing to encode the signal with the fewest number of comparators for any selected bit resolution. In addition to the efficiency of its use of comparators, the RSNS encoding has inherent Gray-code properties making it particularly attractive for eliminating any possible encoding errors. The RSNS encoding is combined with an optical infrastructure that offers high bandwidth and low insertion loss characteristics. A full implementation was constructed and tested. The lack of a high-speed data acquisition device limited the results to examining the preprocessing and digital processing separately. With the system integration of a data acquisition device, a wideband direct digital antenna architecture can be demonstrated.
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