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Photonically-Enabled Software Defined Radios for Broadband Applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W56KGY-19-C-0011
Agency Tracking Number: A191-079-1038
Amount: $112,933.54
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: A19-079
Solicitation Number: 19.1
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-06-04
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-03-29
Small Business Information
51 East Main Street Suite 201
Newark, DE 19711
United States
DUNS: 805473951
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Christopher Schuetz
 (302) 286-5191
Business Contact
 Ahmed Sharkawy
Phone: (302) 286-5191
Research Institution

Software defined radios (SDRs) have redefined many areas of modern electronics, from enabling reconfigurable communications to rapid prototyping of new electronic support concepts. However, current implementations of SDRs are limited by the underlying electronic approaches used to realize them. Herein, we describe a novel photonically-enabled SDR (PESDR) that utilized the inherently broadband nature of signal generation, mixing, and routing in optics to enable extremely broadband SDRs with wide frequency tunability and deployment flexibility. Using optimized versions of optical modulators and photodiodes, first developed for the telecommunications industry, efficient conversion to and from the optical domain is possible and optical fiber and photonic integrated circuit routing provides low-loss, low-SWaP form factors for SDR realization. Using experimentally-validated injection locking techniques, PSI has been able to realize tunable optical paired sources (TOPS) that lock two laser cavities with a precise frequency offset and replicate linewidth and noise between the two lasers. Thus, when these two lasers, or any modulated signals deriving from these lasers, are beat together on a photodiode, a precise sub-1Hz linewidth tone is generated in the electrical domain. These locked lasers can then form the basis for a widely-tunable, software-defined transmit and receive channels that can be modulated, routed, and

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