There has been recent interest in low noise oscillators in the V and W bands (40-111 GHz) for satellite data communication and RADAR. For these applications, close in to the carrier phase-noise performance is important. Several competing very-low-phase-noise oscillator technologies exist at lower microwave frequencies, including dielectric resonator oscillators (DROs), sapphire loaded cavity oscillators (SLCOs), surface acoustic wave (SAW) oscillators, and optical electronic oscillators (OEOs). All of these face difficulties in being extended up to the new bands of interest. OEOs, which implement a resonator using photonic RF technology, have been extensively studied, but OEO operating frequencies and phase noise performance are limited by inefficient photonic links. We propose the optical injection-locked OEO (OIL-OEO), which uses strong optical injection locking to enhance the link efficiency at higher frequencies, potentially allowing for V and W band oscillators with record phase-noise performance.
Project end date: 07/22/09