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Univ. of Arizona to Support Sandia, Raytheon Consortium for DoD Project

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The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), a public-private partnership that aims to advance photonics manufacturing capabilities in the U.S., has announced that a team led by the University of Arizona (UA) will support a consortium that includes Sandia National Laboratories, the Raytheon Co. and other aerospace firms for a U.S. Department of Defense-directed project for photonic integrated circuit (PIC) data links for cryogenic focal plane arrays (FPAs).

The $1.2 million project will encompass the design, fabrication and test of cryogenic PIC-based datalinks for FPA readout and has the potential to strongly advance imaging capabilities for national defense applications. Capitalizing on the national reach and capabilities of this unique consortium, the PICs at the heart of the project will be manufactured in the AIM Photonics silicon photonics fabrication facility at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, N.Y., and could also lead to fabrication opportunities at AIM Photonics’ test, assembly and packaging facility, which is being built in in Rochester, N.Y..

“When you consider the rapid pace of growth in both the FPA size and the required data rates, conventional electronic readouts become limited because they are both a heat source and a communication bottleneck,” says Robert Norwood, a professor of optical sciences at UA and principal investigator for the program.

“We are proud to partner with the DoD, the University of Arizona and our industrial members in the development of this critical technology,” said Michael Liehr, CEO of AIM Photonics. “The design and development infrastructure we have developed is state of the art, and a key benefit for the team as they create this next integrated photonics technology.”

UA’s experience in cryogenic FPAs and integrated photonics, working in concert with major contractors of the defense industrial base, will target a design and development methodology that provides a common PIC datalink solution across multiple system needs and environments.

“Raytheon regards the integration of photonic integrated circuits with focal plane arrays as a critical path for the development of future DoD imaging systems vital to the nation’s security,” said Frank Jaworski, program manager of emerging technology at Raytheon Vision Systems. “We look forward to the University of Arizona’s leadership of the consortium and utilizing their expertise in developing this key technology.”

Photonics Spectra
Nov 2017
BusinessUniversity of ArizonaAIM PhotonicsAmerican Institute for Manufacturing Integrated PhotonicsSandia National LaboratoriesRaytheonDepartment of Defensefundingphotonic integrated circuitsdefensepartnershipsAmericaslight speed

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