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Noise properties of microwave signals synthesized with femtosecond lasers.

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School of Physics, University of Western Australia, Crawley.


We discuss various aspects of high resolution measurements of phase fluctuations at microwave frequencies. This includes methods to achieve thermal noise limited sensitivity, along with the improved immunity to oscillator amplitude noise. A few prototype measurement systems were developed to measure phase fluctuations of microwave signals extracted from the optical pulse trains generated by femtosecond lasers. This enabled first reliable measurements of the excess phase noise associated with optical-to-microwave frequency division. The spectral density of the excess phase noise was found to be -140 dBc/Hz at 100 Hz offset from the 10 GHz carrier which was almost 40 dB better than that of a high quality microwave synthesizer.

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