Broadband chaos generated by an optoelectronic oscillator.
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We study an optoelectronic time-delay oscillator that displays high-speed chaotic behavior with a flat, broad power spectrum. The chaotic state coexists with a linearly stable fixed point, which, when subjected to a finite-amplitude perturbation, loses stability initially via a periodic train of ultrafast pulses. We derive approximate mappings that do an excellent job of capturing the observed instability. The oscillator provides a simple device for fundamental studies of time-delay dynamical systems and can be used as a building block for ultrawide-band sensor networks.