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Center Independent Research & Development: JPL IRAD

mm-Wave Near Field Periodic Couplers For Future Module Interconnects (NFPC)

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

A high speed dielectric waveguide datalink providing fault tolerance, eliminating reliance on electrical contact and increasing data-rates to the Gb/s range.

Millimeter-wave (mm-wave) communications have gained attention in recent years, primarily since the high fractional bandwidth potentially offers multi-Gb/s wireless data-links [1-3]. Recently demonstrated mm-wave transceivers offer impressively high data-rates, however, their range is typically limited to only a few meters, and so non-free space mm-wave communication approaches  have been developed to operate over longer distances of up to 10 meters. Dielectric ribbons are one example of this, and allow direct coupling from a transceiver with either an on-chip probe or antenna structure placed nearby the ribbon’s end. The simplicity of coupling makes them attractive for aircraft and spacecraft applications as transmission through a dielectric ribbon does not rely on an electrical contact, only a coupled wave. Additionally dielectric ribbons can be much lighter weight than copper interconnects, reducing overall payload weight. Also demonstrated data rates of 3 Gb/s can easily be multiplexed down to several Mb per second allowing replacement of several hundred low speed control cables.

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