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High dynamic range RF/photonic link

In advanced radar systems, a special analog fiber-optic link connects a remote antenna with a radar signal processor. The optic link provides for light weight, low loss, and immunity to electro-magnetic interference.

However, this application requires a large dynamic range that is beyond the reach of conventional optical links. To solve this difficult problem, we are developing novel RF photonics with ultra-high dynamic range.

Chip level integrated photonic radar frontend

An entire photonic radar frontend is integrated on a single photonic IC chip. It amplifies and frequency down-converts the antenna signal to an intermediate frequency (IF) band.

This chip should not only outperform the electronic counterparts in term of dynamic range, but also provide small size, low weight, high-power efficiency, and low cost. 

Microwave photonic signal processor

The RF Photonic Group is developing photonic integrated circuit chips that perform microwave signal processing functions using novel photonic mechanisms.

The goal is to develop chip-level integrated photonic microsystems that outperform current microwave millimeter wave integrated circuits (MMIC) and ultimately realize replacement.

Integration technologies

The RF Photonic Group is investigating integration technologies between heterogeneous material systems including:

  • Si wafers
  • III-V wafers
  • electro-optic crystal wafers such as LiNbO3

Photonic component technologies

The RF Photonic Group is investigating high-performance optical modulators, photodetectors, and lasers for microwave photonic applications. 

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