Donald G. Heflinger - Torrance CA
Lee O. Heflinger - Torrance CA
TRW Inc. - Redondo Beach CA
359156, 359173, 359183, 359191, 359192
An optical communication system, using a radio frequency (RF) signal for communicating an analog communication signal, includes an optical transmitter and an optical receiver. The optical transmitter generates a reference light beam, generates a phase modulated communication light beam by phase modulating the reference light beam with the analog communication signal, polarizes a portion of the reference light beam and combines the polarized reference light beam and the phase modulated communication light beam. The optical receiver separates the reference light beam and the communication light beam, develops a shifted light beam that is shifted in frequency by the RF frequency, interferometrically combines the communication light beam with the shifted light beam to provide a heterodyne signal including information regarding the state of phase of the communication light beam, uses the heterodyne signal to produce an electrical signal at an optical beat frequency corresponding to the RF and with a phase corresponding to the state of phase of the communication light beam, and derives from the RF signal and the heterodyne signal an output signal that has a linear correspondence to the state of optical phase of the communication light beam and the analog communication signal.