Flexible Polymer Modulators for Large Conformal Antenna Arrays

Period of Performance: 09/01/1998 - 06/01/1999


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Pacific Wave Industries, Inc.
10911 Weyburn Avenue Ste 222
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Southern California
3720 S. Flower Street, 325
Department of Contracts
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Institution POC

Research Topics


Recent developments in radar and communication technology have created the need for large area, lightweight, conformal antenna systems. In this proposal flexible, high speed, new polymer optical modulators are used to meet these requirements. Polymer optical modulators now represent the key enabling technology that will permit a new generation of optically interconnected large antennas and antenna arrays to be development. The basic receiver demonstration element proposed uses broadband planar antennas, linked to amplifiers, and then to the optical modulator. Using extremely lightweight optical fiber ribbons, laser light is fed to the modulators and then back to the central processing unit. The transmit element will be similar but will incorporate arrays of modulators in the central unit. In the processing unit additional phase control may be important and our newly developed, polymer optical phase shifters will be evaluated for this and other processing functions. The system will be very robust, and because the signals are optically transmitted, relatively immune to electrical interference. The polymer modulator technology has now been intensively studied, is extremely broadband (100 GHZ), and has been demonstrated in a Mylar implementation. We will build upon this technology base to develop optimized, low cost, building blocks for these important new applications.