MALIBU, Calif., Nov. 12, 2010 — DARPA has awarded HRL Laboratories LLC a $500,000 contract to develop Phaser, or photonic analog signal-processing engines with reconfigurability. The Phaser program was established to address the Department of Defense’s growing need for ultrawideband signal-processing capabilities that will lead to significant reductions in the size, weight and power consumption of the processor.
In the Phaser program, HRL proposes to demonstrate a programmable radio-frequency photonic filter — called the “unit cell” — which will serve as a building block for higher-order filters in the form of a photonic integrated circuit. The developed Phaser photonic integrated circuit will enable rapidly reconfigurable analog filtering and support in addition to a high dynamic range in a variety of ultrawideband microwave receivers.
“The HRL unit cell will be composed of tunable microresonators that are optically coupled to an underlying mesh of integrated silica waveguides,” said Willie Ng, manager of HRL’s photonics department. “This will allow arraying in two dimensions so that radio-frequency signals modulated onto optical carriers can be channeled into narrow ‘passbands’ via the implementation of cascaded unit cells.” (See also: HRL to Make Phaser Cell)
HRL plans to demonstrate a chip-scale, high-resolution frequency channelization capability as part of its Phaser program. The goal is to develop integrated photonic technologies that can significantly improve conventional digital signal-processing approaches via demonstrations of a higher signal-processing throughput, a faster reconfiguration speed and a better dynamic range, along with reduced processor size, weight and power consumption.
HRL Laboratories is a corporate R&D laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC members, the US government and other commercial entities.
For more information, visit: www.hrl.com
- A physical variable that is proportionally similar to another variable over a specified range. An analog recording contains data that is similar to the source.
- 1. With respect to radiation, a device used to attenuate particular wavelengths or frequencies while passing others with relatively no change. 2. See digital filter.
- An electromagnetic wave lying within the region of the frequency spectrum that is between about 1000 MHz (1 GHz) and 100,000 MHz (100 GHz). This is equivalent to the wavelength spectrum that is between one millimeter and one meter, and is also referred to as the infrared and short wave spectrum.
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