Breakthroughs in Microwave Photonics

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Three journal publications from the Telecommunication Engineering group have been cited as significant advances in 2010 in the field of Microwave Photonics (MWP) in a review article Recent Breakthroughs in Microwave Photonics by I. Gasulla et al. The article was recently published in the special issue of IEEE Photonics Journal “Breakthrough in Photonics 2010” which showcases major accomplishments across the broad spectrum of Photonics Science and Technology within the year 2010.

Microwave photonics is a field where photonic components and techniques are applied to microwave systems. The article picks out two main MWP research activities in the TE group namely the optical beamforming and the high performance photonic link, in which integrated photonic chip solutions have been implemented. Excerpts from the article:

“A novel integrated optics approach for optical beamforming has been reported within the framework of the Smart antenna systems for radio transceivers (SMART) Dutch project [Meijerink et al.], [Zhuang et al.]. A non planar phased array antenna has been developed which consists of broadband Ku-band stacked patch antenna elements and a broadband optical beamformer network (OBFN) that employs optical RRs, integrated in low-loss complementary metal–oxide semiconductor compatible waveguide technology. The proposed OB is tunable and can operate in squint-free mode (that is, based on true time delays and not in tunable phase shifters). The broadband true time delay feature is achieved by a subsystem based on coherent optical combining using cascades of optical RRs as tunable elements. A prototype based on eight elements was implemented featuring an optical sideband suppression of 25 dB, RF-to-RF delay up to 0.63 ns, a tuning speed of 1 ms, and a phase accuracy better than pi/10 rad in a range of 1–2 GHz.”

“The recent demonstration of the first integrated discriminator for phase-modulated MWP links [Marpaung et al.] is worth mentioning. The photonic chip consists of five optical RRs, where a drop port response of an optical ring resonator (ORR) is cascaded with a through response of another ORR to yield a linear-phase-to-intensity-modulation conversion. The balanced link exhibits high second- and third-order intercept points of 46 and 36 dBm, respectively, which are simultaneously achieved at one bias point.”

The article closes by outlining that integrated photonics application in MWP filed is gaining prominence and will be expected to experience an increasing impact in future years.

Link to the Breakthrough in Photonics 2010 article (free access):

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5759305&tag=1

Link to the cited articles:

Meijerink et al., “A Novel Ring Resonator-Based Integrated Photonic Beamformer for Broadband Phased Array Receive Antennas—Part I: Design and Performance Analysis”

Journal of Lightwave Technology, Vol. 28, No. 1, January 2010, pp 3-18.

Download: http://doc.utwente.nl/69480/

Zhuang et al., “A Novel Ring Resonator-Based Integrated Photonic Beamformer for Broadband Phased Array Receive Antennas—Part II: Experimental Prototype”

Journal of Lightwave Technology, Vol. 28, No. 1, January 2010, pp 19-31.

Download: http://doc.utwente.nl/69426/

Marpaung et al., “A photonic chip based frequency discriminator for a high performance microwave photonic link”

Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 26, pp. 27359-27370 (2010)

Download (free access): http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-18-26-27359