Towards solid-state beam steering using a 7-emitter 1550 nm optical phased array




Spollard, James
Gozzard, David
Roberts, Lyle
Sibley, Paul
Francis, Samuel P.
McClelland, David
Shaddock, Daniel

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SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering


We present the preliminary design and experimental results of a 1550 nm solid-state beam pointing system based on an optical phased array (OPA) architecture. OPAs manipulate the distribution of optical power in the far-field by controlling the phase of individual emitters in an array. This allows OPAs to steer the beam in the far field without any mechanical components (e.g., steering mirrors). The beam-steering system presented here uses waveguide electro-optic modulators to actuate the phase of each element in a 7-emitter OPA, enabling kHz bandwidth steering with sub-milliradian pointing precision. The control system used to stabilize and control the phase of each emitter in the OPA exploits a technique called digitally enhanced heterodyne interferometry, allowing the phase of each emitter to be measured simultaneously at a single photodetector, dramatically simplifying the optical system. All digital signal processing is performed using a field-programmable gate-array. Applications of this technology include free-space link acquisition and tracking for satellite-to-satellite laser communications and light detection and ranging (LiDAR).



coherent combination, optical phased array, FPGA


James T. Spollard, David R. Gozzard, Lyle E. Roberts, Paul G. Sibley, Samuel P. Francis, David E. McClelland, Daniel A. Shaddock, "Towards solid-state beam steering using a 7-emitter 1550 nm optical phased array," Proc. SPIE 10910, Free-Space Laser Communications XXXI, 109101P (4 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2508951


Proceedings SPIE 10910, Free-Space Laser Communications XXXI


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