Satellite Optical Backplane

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase II
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:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Ahmed Sharkawy
VP of Photonics
(302) 456-9003
Business Contact:
Eric Kelmelis
(302) 456-9003
Research Institution:
ABSTRACT: there is a clear need for a radically new interconnect architecture that minimizes the routing delay through the backplane to enable increased performance, reduced costs, and faster time to market. To this end, we propose the development of a space compatible optically interconnected backplane with reconfigurable routing fabric. By removing the electrical interconnections between logic blocks, data can be quickly and efficiently routed across the backplane. Such a novel design will remove the routing bottleneck associated with existing architectures and enable the rapid development of high data rate optical backplane for space communication systems. The use of a wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM)-based optical backplane communication system allows for better utilization of the spectral bandwidth resources available to the system. Along these lines, WDM systems have been proposed using many kinds of technology such as: planar light-wave-circuit (PLC)-based array waveguide gratings (AWG) and fiber gratings. However, such technologies typically have sizes on the order of centimeters, in order to support a large number of sufficiently spaced wavelength channels. Alternatively, a radical new WDM architecture that is Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) compatible with miniaturized commercial applications, avionic applications, and satellite and place platforms is urgently needed. BENEFIT: The ability to integrate photonic functions into a chip to reduce overall chip size will enable the development of next generation photonic integrated circuits and will advance research in various DoD areas including; physics, materials, devices and photonic integrated circuits, processing and chip architecture particularly for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR), National Missile defense (NMD) and communication mission areas. Realization of a reconfigurable optically interconnected chip would meet the requirements for the majority of the DoD programs; including all optical switching on a chip, multistage tunable wavelength converters and multiplexers, all optical push-pull converters, compact beamsteering, very fine pointing, tracking, and stabilization control; and ultra-lightweight antennas and eventually pave the path towards an optically interconnected routing chip.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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