Time-Stretching Systems

Electronic signals in optical slow-motion.

Time-Stretching Systems for Real-Time Signal Analyses

Optical time stretching technology offers unexpected possibilities for the analysis of high frequency signals in real time. Especially in ranges, where conventional electronic measurement technique is too slow to detect rapid signals, time stretching offers the possibility to increase the bandwidth of measuring instruments.

We develop time-stretch systems, which can be used as frontend for commercially available oscilloscopes or analog-digital converters. For this purpose, the electrical signal is transmitted into an optical signal via electro-optical conversion, coded in wavelengths. With a targeted use of dispersive elements, the signal is time-stretched. After stretching, it can be detected with photo-diodes and oscilloscopes, which would not have been possible before the stretching.

Conventionally, a linear construction is used for time stretching. Such a construction can only be build up with a fixed time-stretching. By applying our resonator principle, this disadvantage is avoided. With our systems, various stretchings are possible with only one device. This makes it possible to »zoom into time«. In combination with sophisticated evaluation software, the system offers highest performance for various measurement tasks.