Abstract

In this paper, we propose and demonstrate a stable millimeter-wave (mm-wave) local oscillator (LO) phase dissemination trunk network utilizing homogeneous multicore fibers (MCFs). The repetition frequency of an optical frequency comb acts as a probe signal to sense the delay variation by round trip transmission over the different cores of the MCF. The probe signal is then photomixed with its second harmonic to generate a phase-conjugated signal at the local site. At the remote site and an arbitrary access site, the forward phase-conjugated signal is photomixed with the tapped probe signal to obtain a photonic mm-wave signal, of which the phase is stabilized against the environmental perturbations. Simultaneously, the two-stage microwave photomixing implements optical frequency quadrupling of the microwave reference to enable the network to have flexible frequency dissemination capabilities. Herein, the backscattering or optical reflections in the bidirectional transmission can be mitigated through the parallel propagation paths offered by MCFs. A 36-GHz mm-wave LO signal is steadily disseminated through a 1.2-km seven-core fiber trunk network to multiple access sites. The relative frequency stability of around 3 × 10−17 level at 20 000 s averaging time can be realized in this stable phase dissemination network. The crosstalk and skew fluctuation issues of MCFs are also discussed. This scheme presents the application potential of MCFs in stable frequency transfer over fiber.

© 2019 IEEE

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