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Proceedings Paper

Ultrabroadband phased-array radio frequency (RF) receivers based on optical techniques
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Paper Abstract

Military operations require the ability to locate and identify electronic emissions in the battlefield environment. However, recent developments in radio detection and ranging (RADAR) and communications technology are making it harder to effectively identify such emissions. Phased array systems aid in discriminating emitters in the scene by virtue of their relatively high-gain beam steering and nulling capabilities. For the purpose of locating emitters, we present an approach realize a broadband receiver based on optical processing techniques applied to the response of detectors in conformal antenna arrays. This approach utilizes photonic techniques that enable us to capture, route, and process the incoming signals. Optical modulators convert the incoming signals up to and exceeding 110 GHz with appreciable conversion efficiency and route these signals via fiber optics to a central processing location. This central processor consists of a closed loop phase control system which compensates for phase fluctuations induced on the fibers due to thermal or acoustic vibrations as well as an optical heterodyne approach for signal conversion down to baseband. Our optical heterodyne approach uses injection-locked paired optical sources to perform heterodyne downconversion/frequency identification of the detected emission. Preliminary geolocation and frequency identification testing of electronic emissions has been performed demonstrating the capabilities of our RF receiver.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 March 2014
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8985, Terahertz, RF, Millimeter, and Submillimeter-Wave Technology and Applications VII, 89850U (7 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2037910
Show Author Affiliations
Brock M. Overmiller, Univ. of Delaware (United States)
Christopher A. Schuetz, Univ. of Delaware (United States)
Garrett Schneider, Univ. of Delaware (United States)
Janusz Murakowski, Univ. of Delaware (United States)
Dennis W. Prather, Univ. of Delaware (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8985:
Terahertz, RF, Millimeter, and Submillimeter-Wave Technology and Applications VII
Laurence P. Sadwick; Créidhe M. O'Sullivan, Editor(s)

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