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The desire for rapid beam reconfigurability and steering has led to the exploration of new techniques. Optical techniques have been suggested as potential candidates for implementing these needs. Candidates generally fall into one of two areas: those using fiber optic Beam Forming Networks (BFNs) and those using optically processed BFNs. Both techniques utilize GaAs Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMICs) in the BFN, but the role of the MMIC for providing phase and amplitude variations is largely eliminated by some new optical processing techniques. This paper discusses these two types of optical BFN designs and provides conceptual designs of both systems.