Receiver sensitivity in optical and microwave, heterodyne and homodyne systems

Miu Yoong Leong*, Gunnar Jacobsen, Sergei Popov, Sergey Sergeyev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we analyze the sensitivities of coherent optical receivers and microwave receivers. We derive theoretical limits of signal-to-noise ratio and bit error rate. By applying a generic approach to a broad range of receivers, we can compare their performance directly. Other publications have considered some of these receivers. However, their diverse nature obscures the big picture. Using our results as a unifying platform, previous publications can be compared and discrepancies between them identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-229
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Optical Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2014


  • bit error rate (BER)
  • coherent optical receivers
  • microwave receivers
  • receiver sensitivity
  • signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)


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