Photonic Phased Array Antenna
The present invention provides an inexpensive and low loss fiberoptic manifold for lightweight, high-efficiency, electronically steerable, phased-array antennas. Our approach is sate-of-the-art in design and closely coupled with proven volume fiber optic component manufacturing techniques, holding a promise of realizing practical optical digital delay with performance and cost that have not been achieved before. By using all solid-state inorganic magneto-optic material construction, the proposed switch overcomes the limitation in speed and long-term reliability associated with other approaches. The proposed compact, light-weight, ultra reliable, and low power consumption photonic digital beamforming phase array antenna can potentially be part of spaceship?s skin eliminating the need for complex out-space antenna deployment mechanisms. The advanced technology also potentially addresses the development of next generation critical radar components for optically fed transmit/receive, signal up/down conversion, RF and DC signal distribution, and phase shifting. A high-speed and fault tolerance fiberoptic 4 bit reconfigurable true time delay device will be demonstrated in Phase I.
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