The objective of this chapter is to present the possibilities offered by a purely microwave simulation software to model and characterize an optical-microwave link. Actually, the chosen software is not specifically designed to simulate optical components or model electro-optic transducers. A major benefit of this tool is the possibility to define large signal or nonlinear and noise models. The simulation allows the characterization of a microwave optical link, and provides information regarding the evolution of gain, noise values, and nonlinearities of a photonic link as a function of various parameters, such as frequency or optical attenuation. A strong asset is the study of radio-over-fiber (RoF) systems including the optical tunnel but also microwave components before and after the optical link. It is also possible to study the effects due to temperature variations on the behavior of different components in the models. However, these effects will not be presented in this chapter.
8.1.2. Choice of simulation software
It is very useful to be able to quantify the characteristics of a microwave optical link with a simulation tool before its realization.
Certain software dedicated to optical solutions exist, such as IPSIS COMSIS [COM], or VPI. For this type of software, it is not easy to integrate purely microwave components in the link with their own characteristics, ...