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SBIR/STTR

A Multi-band Photonic Phased Array Antenna for High-Date Rate Communication, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

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A Multi-band Photonic Phased Array Antenna for High-Date Rate Communication, Phase I
Multi-band phased array antenna (PAA) can reduce the number of antennas on shipboard platforms while offering significantly improved performance. In order to steer wideband beams, photonic beamforming techniques must be invoked so that efficient elemental vector summation in the receiving mode or in the transmit mode is independent of frequency. Crystal Research, Inc. proposes to develop a multi-band photonic antenna based on a high-speed optical true-time-delay beamformer, capable of simultaneously steering multiple independent RF beams in less than 300 ns. Such a high steering speed is 3 orders of magnitude faster than any other existing optical beamformers. Unlike other approaches, the proposed technology uses a single controlling device per operation band, which eliminates the need for massive optical switches, laser diodes and fiber Bragg gratings. More importantly, only one beamformer is needed for all antenna elements. Advantages of the proposed multi-badn photonic phased array anttena includes wideband multibeam operation, high-speed steering, microwave delay compatible, small size, light weight, low power consumption, and immune to electro-magnetic interfere. We plan to develop a laboratory breadboard demonstration the proof-of-concept at the end of Phase I. In Phase II, we will design and fabricate a prototype that can be demonstrated in a representative environment. More »

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