Photonic based phase-encoded RF signal generation for advanced radar systems with a 49GHz soliton crystal micro-comb optical source

We demonstrate photonic RF phase encoding based on an integrated micro-comb source. By assembling single-cycle Gaussian pulse replicas using a transversal filtering structure, phase encoded waveforms can be generated by programming the weights of the wavelength channels. This approach eliminates the need for RF signal generators for RF carrier generation or arbitrary waveform generators for phase encoded signal generation. A large number of wavelengths—up to 60—were provided by the microcomb source, yielding a high pulse compression ratio of 30. Reconfigurable phase encoding rates ranging from 2 to 6 Gb/s were achieved by adjusting the length of each phase code. This work demonstrates the significant potentials of this microcomb-based approach to achieve high-speed RF photonic phase encoding with low cost and footprint.