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Proceedings Paper

Photonic correlation for wideband processing in MMW imaging systems
Author(s): James E. Leight; Lawrence J. Lembo
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Paper Abstract

In recent years, many examples have been cited where photonic signal procesors have the potential of enabling the deployment of wideband RF sensor systems whose data rates would otherwise overwhelm the capabilities of traditional digital signal processors. Passive, synthetic aperture millimeter-wave (MMW) imaging arrays are one such class of sensor system that offers a solution to the need for a passive, all-weather look-down sensor for critical DoD and environmental missions. A photonic method of correlating the signals received by the various elements of the array offers a highly efficient, exceptionally wideband capability, exploiting a powerful new technology for aperture- synthesis imaging. Our trade study has helped to establish that a photonically based interferometric imager can significantly reduce the weight and power consumption of the system relative to an all-digital- electronics approach. In addition, the ability of an airborne or space based system to process multi-gigahertz bandwidths offers the first real-time MMW imager operating at video rates. Previous demonstrations of optical correlators have used discrete components, and generate only the real part of the correlation. Using integrated optical waveguide technology developed in part fof the telecommunications industry, we have developed an approach for computing complex correlations over wide bandwidths and in such a way to allow video rate imaging for passive MMW systems. We will describe a general processing architecture, its capability, and our trade study results to provide a motivation for the future development of these types of systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 September 2000
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4112, Radio Frequency Photonic Devices and Systems, (7 September 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.399385
Show Author Affiliations
James E. Leight, TRW Space and Electronics Group (United States)
Lawrence J. Lembo, TRW Space and Electronics Group (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4112:
Radio Frequency Photonic Devices and Systems
Andrew R. Pirich; Anastasios P. Goutzoulis; Paul L. Repak, Editor(s)

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