Novel Broadband Tunable Microwave Components
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Leveraging Agiltron's recent breakthrough in manufacturing low cost fiber optic digital delay lines and variable optical attenuators as well as the drastic improvement in cost and performance of commercial optical transceivers, we propose to develop a practical fiber optic switchable microwave-bandpass filter for military radar and remote sensing applications. The proposed approach overcomes the deficiencies associated with electronic high frequency components, offering frequency independence performance with wide tunable range. Our approach provides sufficiently long time delays for the large frequency tuning range, which are beyond electronic means and previous high dispersion fiber approaches. The use of ultra-low loss optical fiber further reduces cost, weight and size, while mitigating electromagnetic interference, accommodating wide signal bandwidths. The practicality of such an optically-fed switchable microwave filtering module will be demonstrated in this program. A 4-bit testing module working at high frequency up to 18GHz is targeted in Phase I for the evaluation of the technical approach, and an 8-bit and high Q factor (> 100) tunable filtering module will be demonstrated in Phase II. Success in this program will significantly reduce mission cost and increase performance and utility of future radar systems.
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