Photonic Analog to Digital Converters for Direct Digital Receivers

Wide instantaneous bandwidth, high sampling rate, high resolution, and dynamic range are desirable Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) performance traits common to a broad range of military and commercial applications. Improvements in the performance of high sampling rate ADCs are inherently tied to a reduction of the sampling clock jitter. Recent advances in photonic sampling have shown that the use of a mode-locked laser as a low jitter sampling source offers a disruptive approach for high speed, high resolution analog to digital conversion. This work will discuss the overall architecture of a photonic ADC and tradeoffs involved against the backdrop of recent advancements in the subject matter.