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Accurate evaluation of self-heterodyne laser linewidth measurements using Wiener filters

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posted on 2023-01-27, 17:02 authored by Markus Kantner, Lutz Mertenskötter
Self-heterodyne beat note measurements are widely used for the experimental characterization of the frequency noise power spectral density (FN-PSD) and the spectral linewidth of lasers. The measured data, however, must be corrected for the transfer function of the experimental setup in a post-processing routine. The standard approach disregards the detector noise and thereby induces reconstruction artifacts, i.e., spurious spikes, in the reconstructed FN-PSD. We introduce an improved post-processing routine based on a parametric Wiener filter that is free from reconstruction artifacts, provided a good estimate of the signal-to-noise ratio is supplied. Building on this potentially exact reconstruction, we develop a new method for intrinsic laser linewidth estimation that is aimed at deliberate suppression of unphysical reconstruction artifacts. Our method yields excellent results even in the presence of strong detector noise, where the intrinsic linewidth plateau is not even visible using the standard method. The approach is demonstrated for simulated time series from a stochastic laser model including 1/f-type noise.



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