Abstract

A 7-bit multichannel photonic delay line for phased-array antenna control is demonstrated. Multichannel (33-pixel) ferroelectric liquid-crystal (FLC) devices are used as polarization rotation elements, and polarization beam-splitter cubes are used as polarization elements that route the optical signals to different paths. The controller is remotely fed by a unique fiber-optic-array design that uses gradient-index lens collimators for the input single-mode polarization-maintaining fibers. The optical signal is collected by a similar fiber array that uses multimode fibers for improved coupling efficiency. Photonic delay-line (PDL) design issues such as multiport assemblies, multipixel FLC designs, and delay-line architectures are discussed. Furthermore, various PDL parameters are examined. High electrical isolation numbers are obtained for both the within-channel leakage noise (e.g., less than -70 dB) and the interchannel cross talk (e.g., less than -90 dB). Optical and electrical insertion loss is examined for the PDL as well as for the overall system. A high-compression dynamic range of 149 dB · Hz and a spurious free dynamic range of 105 dB · Hz2/3 are presented.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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