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Photonics Dictionary

coherent communications

A fiber optic communications system that works on the principles of homodyning or heterodyning. The transmitting laser produces an optical wave that is modulated in amplitude, phase or frequency by the signal; at the receiver end, the incoming signal is mixed with a laser beam tuned at or near the wavelength of the transmitter (a local oscillator) and downconverted in detection to the radio-wave domain for further signal processing. Coherent transmission is expected to increase sensitivity more than tenfold over direct detection.
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