Military operations require the ability to locate and identify electronic emissions in the battlefield environment. However, recent developments in radio detection and ranging (RADAR) and communications technology are making it harder to effectively identify such emissions. Phased array systems aid in discriminating emitters in the scene by virtue of their relatively high-gain beam steering and nulling capabilities. For the purpose of locating emitters, we present an approach realize a broadband receiver based on optical processing techniques applied to the response of detectors in conformal antenna arrays. This approach utilizes photonic techniques that enable us to capture, route, and process the incoming signals. Optical modulators convert the incoming signals up to and exceeding 110 GHz with appreciable conversion efficiency and route these signals via fiber optics to a central processing location. This central processor consists of a closed loop phase control system which compensates for phase fluctuations induced on the fibers due to thermal or acoustic vibrations as well as an optical heterodyne approach for signal conversion down to baseband. Our optical heterodyne approach uses injection-locked paired optical sources to perform heterodyne downconversion/frequency identification of the detected emission. Preliminary geolocation and frequency identification testing of electronic emissions has been performed demonstrating the capabilities of our RF receiver.
Silicon slot waveguides leverage the field enhancement provided by the continuity of normal electric flux density across a dielectric boundary to confine an optical mode to a void between two proximal silicon strips. Silicon-organic hybrid slot modulators make use of this mode profile by infiltrating the slot region with a non-linear organic electro-optic material (OEOM) for modulation. The dual slot modulator takes this idea a step further by similarly confining a propagating RF mode to the same slot region to increase modal overlap for improved modulation efficiency. This effect is achieved by aligning a titanium dioxide RF slot along a conventional silicon slot waveguide. The TiO2 has an optical refractive index lower than silicon, but a significantly higher index in the RF regime. As a result of the large modal overlap and high electro-optic activity of the OEOM this design can produce measured phase modulated VπL of less than 1.40 V•cm. Furthermore, as the modulator operates without the introduction of a doping scheme it can potentially realize high operational bandwidth and low loss. We present work towards achieving various working prototypes of the proposed device and progress towards high frequency operation.