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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 43, Iss. 25 — Sep. 1, 2004
  • pp: 4802–4815

Limitation of the achievable signal-to-noise ratio in optical coherence tomography due to mismatch of the balanced receiver

Carla Carmelo Rosa and Adrian Gh. Podoleanu  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 43, Issue 25, pp. 4802-4815 (2004)

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Owing to the limited spectral response of the fiber directional coupler used in a balanced optical coherence tomography configuration, the spectra are different in the two outputs. This affects unfavorably operation of the balanced photodetector unit. Excess photon noise makes a larger contribution than a directional coupler with a flat spectral response. A theoretical model is developed that shows that an optimum set of parameters may be defined to maximize the achievable signal-to-noise ratio. The model leads to a redefinition of the effective noise bandwidth, which takes into account the nonflat response of the directional coupler used. The model also predicts a limitation on the signal-to-noise ratio even when the stray reflectances in the interferometer are brought to zero.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.1650) Imaging systems : Coherence imaging
(110.2350) Imaging systems : Fiber optics imaging
(110.4280) Imaging systems : Noise in imaging systems
(110.4500) Imaging systems : Optical coherence tomography
(120.3890) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Medical optics instrumentation
(190.4160) Nonlinear optics : Multiharmonic generation

Original Manuscript: October 7, 2003
Revised Manuscript: May 17, 2004
Manuscript Accepted: May 17, 2004
Published: September 1, 2004

Carla Carmelo Rosa and Adrian Gh. Podoleanu, "Limitation of the achievable signal-to-noise ratio in optical coherence tomography due to mismatch of the balanced receiver," Appl. Opt. 43, 4802-4815 (2004)

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