Georgia Tech Led International Team Files Provisional Patent - Microwave photonics: A simple and tunable photonic microwave source

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Microwave photonics are of intense interest in fields such as radar and phased-array antennas due to the low loss and high-bandwidth properties, immunity to electromagnetic interference (EMI), tunability, and reconfigurability. In a collaborative effort between the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia Tech Lorraine, and ITMO University, Saint Petersburg, Russia, a provisional patent for “Simple stable X-band tunable microwave generator” by Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate student Michael Wishon, Adjunct Professor Alexandre Locquet (GTL-ECE), Professor David Citrin (GT-ECE), and Evgeny Viktorov (ITMO) was filed.

The design is based on the research team’s earlier work on using optical feedback provided by a partially reflecting distant mirror from a laser diode’s output facet to induce spontaneous and undamped relaxation oscillations that modulate the laser’s optical output.  The addition of another optoelectronic feedback loop, together with phase control of the feedback light, is shown to suppress phase noise.

Such photonic microwave oscillators are of interest for optical clock distribution, radio over fiber, and satellite communications.  The devices that are conceptualized in this provisional patent are frequency tunable across the X-band (by changing the injection current), have small footprint and simple architecture. In addition, one can take as the output a purely microwave electrical signal from the injection terminals of the device.

(U.S. Serial No. 62/836,318)


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