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Proceedings Paper

Compact super-wideband optical antenna
Author(s): Wen C. Wang; Richard Forber; Kenneth Bui
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Paper Abstract

We present progress on advanced optical antennas, which are compact, small size-weight-power units capable to receive super wideband radiated RF signals from 30 MHz to over 3 GHz. Based on electro-optical modulation of fiber-coupled guided wave light, these dielectric E-field sensors exhibit dipole-like azimuthal omni directionality, and combine small size (<< λRF) with uniform field sensitivity over wide RF received signal bandwidth. The challenge of high sensitivity is addressed by combining high dynamic range photonic link techniques, multiple parallel sensor channels, and high EO sensing materials. The antenna system photonic link consists of a 1550 nm PM fiber-pigtailed laser, a specialized optical modulator antenna in channel waveguide format, a wideband photoreceiver, and optical phase stabilizing components. The optical modulator antenna design employs a dielectric (no electrode) Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) arranged so that sensing RF bandwidth is not limited by optical transit time effects, and MZI phase drift is bias stabilized. For a prototype optical antenna system that is < 100 in3, < 10 W, < 5 lbs, we present test data on sensitivity (< 20 mV/m-Hz1/2), RF bandwidth, and antenna directionality, and show good agreement with theoretical predictions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 2009
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7316, Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications VI, 731614 (27 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.818139
Show Author Affiliations
Wen C. Wang, IPITEK, Inc. (United States)
Richard Forber, IPITEK, Inc. (United States)
Kenneth Bui, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7316:
Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications VI
Eric Udd; Henry H. Du; Anbo Wang, Editor(s)

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