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Compact and wideband transmit opto-antenna for radio frequency over fiber

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

An advanced transmit remote opto-antenna unit is proposed that accomplishes impedance matching between a photodetector and a low-profile antenna in a specified frequency bandwidth, without requiring an area-consuming matching network. This results in a highly compact design, which also avoids the losses and spurious radiation by such an electrically large matching circuit. Instead, the photodetector is almost directly connected to the antenna, which is designed as a conjugate load, such that the extracted and radiated power are optimized. The required input impedance for the antenna is obtained by adopting a half-mode air-filled suhstrate-integrated-waveguide topology, which also exhibits excellent radiation efficiency. The proposed unit omits electrical amplifiers and is, therefore, completely driven by the signal supplied by an optical fiber when deployed in an analog optical link, except for an externally supplied photodetector bias voltage. Such a highly cost-effective, power efficient and reliable unit is an important step in making innovative wireless communication systems, which deploy extremely dense attocells of 15 cm x 15 cm, technically and economically feasible. As a validation, a prototype, operating in the Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure radio bands (5.15 GHz-5.85 GHz), is constructed and its radiation properties are characterized in free-space conditions. After normalizing with respect to the optical source's slope efficiency, a maximum boresight gain of 12.0 dBi and a -3 dB gain bandwidth of 1020 MHz (18.6 %) are observed. (C) 2019 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement
Journal: Optics Express
Issue: 6
Volume: 27
Pages: 8395 - 8413
Publication year:2019