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Broadband Adaptive Photonic Beamforming

 

Encoding wireless signals on light waves allows antennas to selectively detect signals from a desired direction with performance levels that exceed what is possible with electronics.

(Left) Response of precisely tuned beamformer as a function of the input direction and frequency. (Right) Schematic of a frequency response filter used for 'photonic beamforming.'

 

Traditional radio frequency (RF) communication systems involving direct broadcast and detection typically waste tranmission power, cause interference congestion, and lead to signal loss. One way of increasing the efficiency of the network is to send and receive signals directionally, preventing signals from overlapping with one another as they travel from source to receiver.

We have developed a technology called photonic beamforming that utilizes the unique physics of optics to create directionality in arrays of antennas. Systems including an array of antennas coupled to an adaptive processor can filter signals in both space and frequency, enabling the steering of a beam while rejecting interfering directional noise sources. Our broadband adaptive optical signal processing techniques can implement algorithms for real-time control of cognitive/adaptive antenna systems. For example, our novel control system will provide low-latency (nsec) reconfiguration of the antenna aperture to enable adapting to rapidly changing environments with varying clutter, tracking rapidly changing target characteristics (such as fast moving targets), and rapidly switching between different objectives (such as wide angle search and inspection where more detail about a target is extracted in a narrower field of view).

Book Chapters

B. J. Shastri*, J. Chang*, A. N. Tait, M. P. Chang, B. Wu, M. A. Nahmias, and P. R. Prucnal, “Ultrafast Optical Techniques for Communication Networks and Signal Processing,” in All-Optical Signal Processing for Data Communication and Storage Applications, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2014, ch. 11, 20 pages (in press). [*equal contribution]. 

Journal Papers

J. Chang, J. Meister, P. R. Prucnal, “Implementing a novel highly scalable adaptive photonic beamformer using “blind” guided accelerated random search", IEEE/OSAJournal of Lightwave Technology, vol. 32, no. 20, pp. 3623–3629, Oct. 2014.

J. Chang, M. P. Fok, R. M. Corey, J. Meister, and P. R. Prucnal, "Highly scalable adaptive photonic beamformer using a single mode to multimode optical combiner,” IEEE Microwave and Wireless Component Letters, vol. 23, no. 10, pp. 563–565, Oct. 2013.

J. Chang and P. R. Prucnal, "A novel analog photonic method for broadband multipath interference cancellation", IEEE Microwave and Wireless Component Letters, vol. 23, no. 7, pp. 377–379, Jul. 2013.

J. Chang, M. P. Fok, J. Meister, and P. R. Prucnal, "A single source microwave photonic filter using a novel single-mode fiber to multimode fiber coupling technique", Optics Express, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 5585–5593, Jan. 2013.

J. Chang, Y. Deng, M. P. Fok, J. Meister, and P. R. Prucnal, “A photonic microwave FIR filter using a spectrally sliced supercontinuum source,” Applied Optics, vol. 51, no. 19, pp. 4265–4268, Jun. 2012.

Conference Papers

J. Chang, M. P. Fok, R. M. Corey, J. Meister, and P. R. Prucnal, "Highly scalable adaptive photonic beamformer using a single mode to multimode optical combiner,” IEEE Microwave and Wireless Component Letters, vol. 23, no. 10, pp. 563–565, Oct. 2013.

Group Members: 
  • Paul Prucnal, Professor of Electrical Engineering
  • John Chang, Graduate Student