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Economical, Multi-Use Software-Defined Radio Capability at Ku-Band and Above

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W56KGU-21-C-0023
Agency Tracking Number: A2-8568
Amount: $749,994.71
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: A19-079
Solicitation Number: 19.1
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-11-16
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-04-22
Small Business Information
116 Sandy Dr.
Newark, DE 19713-1111
United States
DUNS: 805473951
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Timothy Creazzo
 (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 phased optically. The proposed effort leverages over $15M in past and current DoD applied research programs, which have already proven most of the critical concepts. In this proposal, we lay out a plan to implement these already proven PESDR concepts in an integrated format more suitable for deployment.

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

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