Electro-Optic Probing for Microwave Diagnostics

John F. WHITAKER  Kyoung YANG  Ronald REANO  Linda P. B. KATEHI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E86-C   No.7   pp.1328-1337
Publication Date: 2003/07/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Issue on Recent Progress in Microwave and Millimeter-wave Photonics Technologies)
Category: Measurements Techniques
microwave measurements,  ultrafast optics,  electro-optic sampling,  electric-field probing,  

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This review paper addresses an emerging aspect of the relationship between optics and microwave electronics: the application of short pulses of laser light to the sensing and measurement of continuous-wave microwave fields. In particular, very short duration optical pulses can take on the role of ultrafast sampling gates within the framework of the electro-optic sampling technique in order to realize unprecedented temporal resolution, measurement bandwidth, and probing flexibility. As a result, in numerous instances electro-optic sampling has been demonstrated, primarily within the research laboratory, to be an effective tool in the field of diagnostic testing and the determination of the electrical characteristics of microwave components. Recently, with the emergence of new applications such as microwave electric-field mapping in wireless and radar environments, and as the ultrafast time domain has gained in importance for the area of optical telecommunications, added attention has been directed to electro-optic sampling. Herein, an abbreviated historical perspective of the history of electro-optic field mapping is presented, along with the fundamental concepts that are utilized in the technique. The effectiveness of an optical-fiber-mounted electro-optic probe in a scanning electric-field-mapping system is highlighted in several diagnostic measurements on microwave and millimeter-wave antenna arrays, and a combined electric-field and thermal-imaging capability is also introduced.