Microwave Journal

Applications of Modern RF Photonics with Preetpaul Singh Devgan

June 3, 2020

When Artech House authors write their books, we ask them what they want their readers to get out of the project. In this series, we show you what our authors, in their own words, wish to impart upon readers. Preetpaul Singh Devgan, author of Applications of Modern RF Photonics, describes what his book is about:

Applications of Modern RF Photonics Systems provides examples of systems that use photonic components for analog signal processing. The book begins with a brief history of RF photonics, along with the advantages of photonics versus electronics and a comparison between analog and digital systems. The majority of the book presents in-depth reviews of different analog signal processing systems that are commonly used. The systems are presented in relation to a demonstration architecture to show how the systems can be used together. The systems covered include RF down conversion, analog to digital conversion, RF oscillators and frequency identification.

Radio frequency photonics, or RF photonics for short, is an interdisciplinary field that combines analog electronics with photonic components for high speed signal processing of RF signals. While the term RF photonics is most commonly used, this technology area is also known as microwave photonics or analog optics. Regardless of the name given, the field is focused on up-converting continuously time-varying electronic signals into the optical domain, where high speed signal processing can occur before down-converting the signal back to the electronic domain. Signal processing is a general term which incorporates techniques to address many different applications. These applications cover a broad range, including the transmission of analog signals, generation of low phase noise clock signals, isolation and frequency identification of RF signals, and many others. While these types of applications have traditionally been served by electronic means, the need to access higher frequencies and wider bandwidths has driven the search for other alternatives. Because photonics can operate essentially from “DC to Daylight,” it seems an ideal solution to address these requirements. In this introduction, a brief history covering the uses of RF photonics will be presented. An overview of the advantages of photonics versus electronics, along with a comparison between the use and performance metrics of digital and analog photonics will then be covered. Finally, the current needs for RF photonics will be reviewed.

The reader should be able to understand the basic function of these systems as well as how they can be used. This book should be beneficial to students in physics, optics and electrical engineering, as well as professional engineers in RF system design. Scientists working on photonic components will also appreciate how their work can be applied to analog photonic systems.

Author bio: Preetpaul Singh Devgan is currently a senior electrical engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory. He received his B.S. and M.S. from Purdue University and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University.

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