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Opt Express. 2009 Aug 31;17(18):15991-9. doi: 10.1364/OE.17.015991.

Precise control of broadband frequency chirps using optoelectronic feedback.

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  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Blvd. 136-93, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA. naresh@caltech.edu


We demonstrate the generation of wideband frequency sweeps using a semiconductor laser in an optoelectronic feedback loop. The rate and shape of the optical frequency sweep is locked to and determined by the frequency of a reference electronic signal, leading to an agile, high coherence swept-frequency source for laser ranging and 3-D imaging applications. Using a reference signal of constant frequency, a transform-limited linear sweep of 100 GHz in 1 ms is achieved, and real-time ranging with a spatial resolution of 1.5 mm is demonstrated. Further, arbitrary frequency sweeps can be achieved by tuning the frequency of the input electronic signal. Broadband quadratic and exponential optical frequency sweeps are demonstrated using this technique.

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