Background and Technology:
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is a leading developer of technologies for communication, sensors, electronic warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance applications. This includes work on developing next-generation technologies like phased array radar based upon photonic integrated circuits.
Electronic based phased array antenna systems are bulky, power- hungry and focus on low frequency bandwidth, but they are still widely used in both military and commercial radio-frequency (RF) systems. ARL’s new RF-photonic based architecture overcomes size, weight, power and other known technical disadvantages of previous scanning antennas and is cost competitive thanks to the continual drop in the cost of commercial photonic devices.
ARL has built a fiber-based true time delay (TTD) system as a proof- of-concept demonstration of a proposed optical circuit architecture. The ultimate goal is to develop a chip-scale semiconductor based optical TTD beamforming/steering system. The optical circuit architecture would be employed in a large phased array antenna system that can perform two-dimensional beam scanning for both transmit and receive mode. Further, this will enable a miniaturized optically controlled phase array antenna system that can be used in numerous applications where reduced form factor and power consumption are a primary concern.
- First-available architecture for true-time-delay phased array radar based upon photonic integrated circuits
- Targeting wideband and high frequency applications; not frequency-band limited
- Reduced size, weight, and power requirement for compact chip-based systems
- Diverse markets in military, commercial applications such as UAV, broadcasting, radar, space communication, weather research, RFID, optics, human-machine interface, and more
Status and Opportunity:
- Issued U.S. Patent 7,609,971 is available for license
- Potential for collaboration with ARL inventor and laboratory
Supplemental Technical Information:
- Integrated Photonic System with a Simple Beamforming Architecture for Phased-Array Antennas – Article
For more information, contact:
Austin Leach, PhD | email@example.com | (406)-994-7707
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