Satellite Optical Backplane

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
EM Photonics, Incorporated
51 East Main Street, Suite 203, Newark, DE, -
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Ahmed Sharkawy
Director of Photonic Applications
(302) 456-9003
Business Contact:
Eric Kelmelis
(302) 456-9003
Research Institution:

ABSTRACT: Optical interconnects are the natural choice for interconnecting different chips when current interconnect technologies cannot fulfill current and future system requirements. Examples of optical interconnect architectures are free-space multistage interconnect, optical fiber interconnect, and thin film polymer waveguide-based optical interconnect. While all these architectures were successfully capable of satisfying the requirements for an optically interconnected system, the size they occupy is considerably large to be integrated on a chip-level optical system, especially with the minimum feature size of chip shrinking one year after the other. Nano-scale optical interconnects are now needed to satisfy future interconnect needs, since they will not only meet system requirements but will also occupy a size comparable to the interconnected chips. Typical Avionics Networks Requirements include; Many Different I/O Types,- RF, Analog, Digital, Discrete & Timing Strobes,- EMI Problems in Mixed Signal Environment, Many Different Network Media / Connectors Coaxial, TSP, Copper Cable, F/O, Backplane Traces/Vias, Many High Bandwidth/High Frequency Channels Avionics Modules are Connector Bound, Still Desire 2-Level Line-Replaceable Modules, Sensors Located Throughout Airframe, Coaxial Cable Has High Signal Losses/Distortion, Many Pt-to-Pt Cables Reduce Manufacturing Repeatability, Decrease Reliability/Effective Diagnostics. What is needed is a common network that can satisfy all connectivity requirements of an avionics suite, single channel, and single connector. Chip-Scale optical switching fabric can provide this universal avionics network if specific component, cost & packaging challenges can be overcome! BENEFIT: We intend to market a product based on the final device as part of the STTR program. We anticipate our initial market to be government and military applications but we will secondarily bring the final product to the commercial market. There are many groups that will benefit from this technology including the DoD, satellite TV and radio broadcasters, and private space companies. This platform will be useful in military applications ranging from communications to missile guidance to long-range imaging. Additionally, we believe that this device will convince more people to utilize the proposed chip-scale switch fabric in their designs, as this novel platform will greatly improve performance and open the door for many new applications.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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