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SBIR/STTR

A Multi-Band Photonic Phased Array Antenna for High-Data Rate Communication, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

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A Multi-Band Photonic Phased Array Antenna for High-Data Rate Communication, Phase II
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. The Phase II technical goal is to extend the Phase I results into a fully functional prototype of a multi-band photonic phased array antenna, which will be delivered to NASA. More »

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