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Proceedings Paper

Resonant transmissive modulator construction for use in beam steering arrays
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Paper Abstract

We describe a design for an agile, electronically- configurable, optical beam steering array to be used in directional free-space transmission of optical signals. The proposed device employs a 1D array of tunable resonant transmissive modulators constructed from customized multi- layered stacks of dielectric materials. Each modulator may be individually configured to transmit an optical signal with a known amount of phase and group velocity modulation. Proper configuration of each individual modulator results in diffractive interactions between multiple modulator outputs, providing a method for directional optical signal transmission. Of particular focus within this paper is the design of the individual modulator. We generate custom transmission functions by varying the parameters describing the modulator's specific construction, such as number of layers within the multi-layer stack, refractive indices of stack materials, layer thickness, and combinations of periodic versus non-periodic layer repetitions. A computational optimization of the variables describing the stack's construction strives to maximize the amount of optical signal modulation obtainable within defined limits. Our optimization is based largely on maximizing transmitted phase delay. We discuss trade-offs between methods of increasing device performance versus practical limitations of fabrication technologies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 July 1999
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3787, Optical Scanning: Design and Application, (2 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.351636
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew S. Keys, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Richard Lynn Fork, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)
Thomas R. Nelson Jr., Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
John P. Loehr, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3787:
Optical Scanning: Design and Application
Leo Beiser; Stephen F. Sagan; Gerald F. Marshall, Editor(s)

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