Abstract

Signals arising in nearly all disciplines, including telecommunications, mechanics, biology, astronomy, and nature are generally modulated, carrying corresponding signatures in both the temporal and spectral domains. This fact was long recognized by cyclostationary and cumulant analysis, providing qualitatively better means to separate stochastic from deterministically modulated radiation. In contrast to simple spectral analysis, the cyclostationary technique provides a high level of spectral discrimination, allowing for considerable signal selectivity even in the presence of high levels of background noise and interference. When performed with sufficient resolution, cyclostationary analysis also provides the ability for signal analysis and classification. Unfortunately, these advantages come at a cost of large computational complexity posing fundamental detection challenges. In the case of modern ultrawideband signals, the requirements for persistent cyclostationary analysis are considerably beyond the processing complexity of conventional electronics. Recognizing this limit, we report a new photonically assisted cyclostationary analyzer that eliminates the need for high-bandwidth digitization and real-time Fourier processors. The new receiver relies on mutually coherent frequency combs used to generate a Fourier representation of the received signal in a computation-free manner. With the advent of practical, cavity-free optical frequency combs, the complexity for cyclostationary analysis can be greatly reduced, paving a path toward persistent wideband cyclostationary analysis in an ultrawideband operating regime.

© 2017 IEEE

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