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31 May 2013 Embedded electronics for a video-rate distributed aperture passive millimeter-wave imager
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Abstract
Optical upconversion for a distributed aperture millimeter wave imaging system is highly beneficial due to its superior bandwidth and limited susceptibility to EMI. These features mean the same technology can be used to collect information across a wide spectrum, as well as in harsh environments. Some practical uses of this technology include safety of flight in degraded visual environments (DVE), imaging through smoke and fog, and even electronic warfare. Using fiber-optics in the distributed aperture poses a particularly challenging problem with respect to maintaining coherence of the information between channels. In order to capture an image, the antenna aperture must be electronically steered and focused to a particular distance. Further, the state of the phased array must be maintained, even as environmental factors such as vibration, temperature and humidity adversely affect the propagation of the signals through the optical fibers. This phenomenon cannot be avoided or mitigated, but rather must be compensated for using a closed-loop control system. In this paper, we present an implementation of embedded electronics designed specifically for this purpose. This novel architecture is efficiently small, scalable to many simultaneously operating channels and sufficiently robust. We present our results, which include integration into a 220 channel imager and phase stability measurements as the system is stressed according to MIL-STD-810F vibration profiles of an H-53E heavy-lift helicopter.
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Petersen F. Curt, James Bonnett, Christopher A. Schuetz, and Richard D. Martin "Embedded electronics for a video-rate distributed aperture passive millimeter-wave imager", Proc. SPIE 8715, Passive and Active Millimeter-Wave Imaging XVI, 871508 (31 May 2013); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2018519
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