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Opt Express. 2014 May 5;22(9):11129-39. doi: 10.1364/OE.22.011129.

Optical length change measurement via RF frequency shift analysis of incoherent light source based optoelectronic oscillator.


Radio-frequency (RF) frequency shift of incoherent light source based optoelectronic oscillator (OEO) is employed to measure the optical length change. In the proposed OEO using an incoherent light source, the optical length under test is inserted in the optoelectronic hybrid loop. The frequency shift of RF oscillation modes at the output of the OEO reflects the optical length change, with the change being measured via frequency shift analysis. Two OEO configurations are theoretically designed and experimentally performed, while an amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) source serves as the incoherent light source. A linear relationship between the frequency shift and the optical length change has been confirmed for measurement, and a reconfigurable measurement sensitivity is available by selecting different oscillation modes. Moreover, the use of ASE greatly reduces the complexity and the cost for stabilization control on light source, while the derived results are consistent with that obtained in a laser source based OEO both in the measured optical length changes and the phase noise performance. A sensitivity of -28 KHz/cm, -480 KHz/cm or higher, and a resolution of nano-meter scale are obtained, which can be used to monitor the displacement, the changes in refractive index, temperature.

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