Photonic Radar Systems
Small Business Information
450 Bedford St., Lexington, MA, 02173
AbstractA candidate advanced Airborne Early Warning (AEW) developmental radar concept has been identified for insertion of photonic components to improve performance, reduce weight and cost and add to the overall reliability and maintainability of the system. The next step to be carried out is a detailed evaluation of demonstrated hardware approaches for specific application in the candidate AEW radar system. Key component areas to consider are photonic true time delay devices, lightwave transmit-receive beamforming manifolds and monolithic microwave/opto-electric integrated circuit T/R modules for the active aperture. Optical time delay networks are broadband and eliminate the need to compensate for beam squinting in large aperture arrays. Lightwave beamforming manifolds for phased arrays have been demonstrated for both transmit and receive applications that can be packaged very compactly and are comparatively small in size and weight. In addition, this study would seek to exploit the developments of monolithic microwave and photonic gallium arsenide circuits carried out under the ARPA sponsored MIMIC Program during the past five years that has enabled special and multi-purpose transmit/recieve (T/R) modules to be manufactured by several companies. ANTICIPATED BENEFITS: The photonic technology insertion to be investigated for the AEW surveillance radar application lends itself also, to space-based and ground airport surveillance radars used for commercial and general aviation traffic control purposes. Further, the commercialization of fiber-optic data and personal communication systems for the information superhighway are anticipated to require compact, lightweight, photonically controlled active arrays capabale of producing multiple, simultaneous, steerable beams on the ground, at sea and in space.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.