Amplitude and temporal jitter associated with the NPS active mode-locked Sigma Laser
Anderson, James A.
Pace, Phillip E.
Luscombe, James H.
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Electro-optic techniques for analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) are being developed for wideband signal collection and analysis. They have the capability of being used for direct signal reception and ADC at an antenna. A fundamental requirement for these designs is a high-frequency optical pulse train with uniform amplitude and pulse spacing. A mode-locked fiber laser can provide pulse rates and pulse widths suitable for these high bandwidth applications. In this thesis an accurate method for calculating and characterizing with the amplitude and timing jitters of the NPS active mode- locked sigma laser was designed and demonstrated. The method utilizes a wide bandwidth photodetector and a microwave spectrum analyzer to obtain data for analysis. Labview 4.0 software was used to extract and store the data displayed on the spectrum analyzer. Matlab 5.1 software was then used to analyze the Labview data and to perform calculations for the amplitude and temporal jitter. Measurements were made for a microwave sweep oscillator and a cw generator, then again with the fiber laser operating with each signal source. Final measurements were taken with variable laser diode pump powers by varying the controller currents. Results show that the calculation of the laser jitter is not dependent on the upper limit of the noise power integral calculation above 10 kHz; however, the jitter is highly dependent on the value of the lower frequency limit and decreases dramatically as the lower limit is increased. Laser amplitude jitter was found to decrease by 30% and timing jitter by 0.85 Ps when the laser was operated with the cw generator instead of the sweep oscillator. Also, it was found that as pump power was increased, laser timing jitter decreased.
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