Intensity Noise in Balanced Detection of Correlated Incoherent Signals

M. Abtahi, S. Ayotte, J. Penon, and L.A. Rusch (Canada)


Balanced detection, probability density function, broadband incoherent light source, intensity noise.


We study the balanced detection of broadband incoherent optical signals - signals characterized by high intensity noise. We consider signals generated from a single incoherent source with overlapping, non-identical spectra but zero time delay. Our statistical analysis yields equations for the probability density function (PDF) of the balanced detector output for partially correlated input signals based on easily measured power spectral densities. We derive analytical expressions with extremely good prediction of measured values for correlation up to 95%. The analytic expressions can be used to characterize system performance, in particular, bit error rate for communications systems.

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