Ultra-low-loss polymeric waveguide circuits for optical true-time delays in wideband phased-array antennas
Optical Engineering: The Journal of SPIE
The optical true-time-delay line is a key building block for modern broadband phased-array antennas, which have become one of the most critical technologies for both military and civilian wireless communications. We present our research results in developing an optical polymer-based waveguide true-time-delay module for multilink phasedarray antennas by incorporating wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) technology. The demonstrated optical polymeric waveguide circuits can provide a large
... of optical true-time delays with a dynamic range of 50 ns and a time resolution of 0.1 ps. Various fabrication techniques are investigated for producing ultralong low-loss (0.02 dB/cm) polymeric channel waveguides with tilted waveguide grating output couplers. Fast photodiode arrays are fabricated and rf signals with frequencies of 10 to 50 GHz are generated through the optical heterodyne technique. A detailed study of waveguide amplification to achieve loss-less polymeric waveguide is conducted. The optical amplification of 3.8 dB/cm is achieved at a wavelength of 1064 nm in a Nd 3ϩ -doped polymeric waveguide. WDM techniques are also employed for potential multilink applications. The presented methodologies enable hybrid integration with a reduced cost in optoelectronic packaging and an increased reliability and decreased payload for the next generation of phased-array antennas.