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Flexible agile hybrid optical-RF antenna system for communications and radar

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1 Author(s)
Riza, Nabeel A. ; Dept. of Electr. & Electron. Eng. & Tyndall, Nat. Inst. Univ. Coll. Cork, Cork, Ireland

This paper deals with a unique photonic beamforming approach that allows truly flexible and agile control of a joint optical-radio frequency Phased Array Antenna (PAA). The novel beamformer system rapidly adapts to the mission and operational/environmental scenario allowing agile control of the radio frequency antenna and the optical antenna. PAA beam steering control is provided with full capability and a diverse range of antenna frontends operating at various frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum. Both transmission and reception modes are possible for the joint optical-radio frequency system in a compact optical module. This paper concentrates on the basic proposed module controls concept, architecture, and its proof of concept experimental demonstration. Groundwork is laid to indicate technical concept feasibility that can lead to a plan for development and prototyping. Apart from use in battle-space RF and optical sensor environments, the proposed joint optical-radio frequency antenna system, with the capability of agile and flexible beamforming, can be used in: (a) commercial laser radar systems, (b) mobile phased array communication systems, (c) commercial optical wireless links, (d) commercial aircrafts and automobiles, and (e) space astronomical arrays.

Published in:

Microwave Radar and Wireless Communications (MIKON), 2012 19th International Conference on  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

21-23 May 2012