Calculation of receiver sensitivities in (orthogonal) subcarrier multiplexing microwave-optical links

Fernando A. Gutiérrez*, Eamonn P. Martin, Philip Perry, Andrew D. Ellis, Liam P. Barry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microwave-based all-analogue (orthogonal) subcarrier multiplexing (SCM) permits a direct processing of baseband data at Gbit/s while achieving low power consumption, low latency, low cost, and tolerance to dispersion. A key figure of merit in any SCM link is the sensitivity in the receiver, which depends on the transmitter, the link and the receiver. By analysing the impact of the nonlinearities of an optical IQ modulator in the presence of optical noise, sensitivities are mathematically estimated as a function of the optical modulation index (OMI) at the transmitter. The results are verified with simulations achieving a good agreement with the mathematical model. The theoretical model provided can be employed as a tool to predict the best achievable sensitivities and the optimum OMI in broadband SCM and orthogonal SCM links.

Original languageEnglish
Article number184
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


  • direct detection
  • optical IQ modulator
  • orthogonal subcarrier multiplexing
  • subcarrier multiplexing


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