Stabilized Free Space Optical Frequency Transfer Using Digitally Enhanced Heterodyne Interferometry
preprintposted on 2023-04-24, 10:05 authored by Shawn McSorley, David Gozzard, Skevos Karpathakis, Benjamin Dix-Matthews, Sascha Schediwy
Free-space continuous-wave laser interferometry using folded links has applications in precision measurement for velocimetry, vibrometry, optical communications, and verification of frequency transfer for metrology. However, prompt reflections from the transceiver optics degrade the performance of these systems, especially when the power of the returning signal is equal to or less than the power of the prompt reflections. We demonstrate phase stabilized free-space continuous-wave optical frequency transfer that exploits the auto-correlation properties of pseudo-random binary sequences to filter out prompt reflections. We show that this system significantly improves the stability and robustness of optical frequency transfer over a 750 m turbulent free-space channel, achieving a best fractional frequency stability of 8e-20 Hz/Hz at an integration time of 512 seconds, and cycle-slip-free periods up to 162 minutes.