Phased array three-dimensional beam steering system for millimeter wave sources emitting in the 100-300 GHz region
Herein, we propose a novel approach to achieving a broadband, phased-array transmitter operating at frequencies from 100-300 GHz. Our approach is based on the concept of optically distributing a pair of locked optical tones to an array of antenna coupled photomixers. Lightweight optical fibers enable the distribution of these optical tones to any arbitrary antenna array geometry with antenna placement being only limited by the physical size of the antenna. Each node of the array will be capable of emitting powers approaching 1mW at 100 GHz and the number of nodes in the array can be easily scaled using bulk optical splitting techniques and optical amplifiers. Phasing of the array is achieved using an array of optical phase modulators, which can be exceedingly fast enabling unprecedented beam slew rates. Our novel optical locking technique generates millimeter-wave tones with 1 Hz linewidths for high purity spectral emission. When combined, this photonically-enabled array will yield scalable, high-fidelity mmW phased array that covers the entire mmW spectrum in a single array.
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