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Programmable Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) for Radio Frequency (RF) applications

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC22PA980
Agency Tracking Number: 221524
Amount: $149,971.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T8
Solicitation Number: STTR_22_P1
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-07-22
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-08-25
Small Business Information
6820 Moquin Drive NorthWest
Huntsville, AL 35806-2900
United States
DUNS: 185169620
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Karthikeyan Lingasubramanian
 (256) 726-4800
Business Contact
 Silvia Harvey
Phone: (256) 715-6918
Research Institution
 University of Washington
4333 Brooklyn Avenue Northeast, Box 359472
Seattle, WA 98195-9472
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Reconfigurable and adaptive hardware systems are essential parts of NASA applications due to the unavoidable uncertainties and variations due to extreme operational conditions, radiation effects, modifications of standard and requirements, varying user preferences and high development cost. Moreover, adaptability at the hardware level provides increased flexibility and capabilities. While electronic version of such systems is widely being used in NASA applications, they incur significant size, weight, and power, and cost (SWaP-C).We propose a photonic reconfigurable hardware, Programmable Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC), that will have significantly lower SWaP-C compared to electronic counterparts. The proposed programmable PIC will be fabricated using phase change materials (PCM) that enables non-volatile, compact, low-loss, and broadband switches that can be mass produced through well-established integrated circuit (IC) fabrication process.In spite of the reduction in feature size that can affect resolution and bandwidth, the photonic platform will enable loss-less controlled passage of light and allow the PIC-based spectrometer to provide equal or higher efficiency compared to the state-of-the-art. Also, the compact integrated design will enable constructive augmentations that can improve efficiency without compromising on SWaP-C.In Phase I, we will work on the design of the programmable PIC using a reduced order modeling (ROM) based simulation platform. We will calculate the performance characteristics, including the sensitivity to key design parameters, and derive guidelines for improved design.In Phase II, we will optimize the design to meet NASA requirements, build a prototype, and experimentally verify the performance of programmable PIC, including as a function of radiation effects and temperature variations. Promising designs will be delivered to NASA.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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