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4 March 2019 Integrated photonics for NASA applications
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NASA is working with US industry and academia to develop Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) for: (1) Sensors (2) Analog RF applications (3) Computing and free space communications. The PICs provide reduced size, weight, and power that is critical for space-based systems. We describe recent breakthrough 3D monolithic integration of photonic structures, particularly high-speed graphene-silicon devices on CMOS electronics to create CMOS-compatible highbandwidth transceivers for ultra-low power Terabit-scale optical communications. An integrated graphene electro-optic modulator has been demonstrated with a bandwidth of 30 GHz. Graphene microring modulators are especially attractive for dense wavelength division multiplexed (DWDM) systems. For space-based optical communication and ranging we have demonstrated generating a variable number of channels from a single laser using breadboard components, using a single-sideband carrier-suppressed (SSBCS) modulator driven by an externally-supplied RF tone (arbitrary RF frequency), a tunable optical bandpass filter, and an optical amplifier which are placed in a loop. We developed a Return--to-Zero (RZ) Differential Phase Shift Keying (DPSK) laser transmitter PIC using an InP technology platform that includes a tunable laser, a Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (SOA), high-speed Mach-Zehnder Modulator (MZM), and an electroabsorption (EAM) modulator. A Silicon Nitride (SiN) platform integrated photonic circuit suitable for a spectrally pure chip-scale tunable opto-electronic RF oscillator (OEO) that can operate as a flywheel in high precision optical clock modules, as well as radio astronomy, spectroscopy, and local oscillator in radar and communications systems is needed. We have demonstrated a low noise optical frequency combs generation from a small OEO prototypes containing very low loss (~1 dB) waveguide couplers of various shapes and sizes integrated with an ultrahigh-Q MgF2 resonators. An innovative miniaturized lab-on-a-chip device is being developed to directly monitor astronaut health during missions using ~3 drops of body fluid sample like blood, urine, and potentially other body fluids like saliva, sweat or tears. The first-generation system comprises a miniaturized biosensor based on PICs (including Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser – VCSEL, photodetector and optical filters and biochemical assay that generates a fluorescent optical signal change in response to the target analyte.
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Michael Krainak, Mark Stephen, Elisavet Troupaki, Sarah Tedder, Baraquiel Reyna, Jonathan Klamkin, Hongwei Zhao, Bowen Song, Joseph Fridlander, Minh Tran, John E. Bowers, Keren Bergman, Michal Lipson, Anthony Rizzo, Ipshita Datta, Nathan Abrams, Shayan Mookherjea, Seng-Tiong Ho, Qiang Bei, Yingyan Huang, Yongming Tu, Behzad Moslehi, James Harris, Andrey Matsko, Anatoliy Savchenkov, Guangyao Liu, Roberto Proietti, S. J. B. Yoo, Leif Johansson, Christophe Dorrer, Francisco R. Arteaga-Sierra, Jie Qiao, Songbin Gong, Tingyi Gu, Osgar John Ohanian III, Xingjie Ni, Yimin Ding, Yao Duan, Hamed Dalir, Ray T. Chen, Volker J. Sorger, and Tin Komljenovic "Integrated photonics for NASA applications", Proc. SPIE 10899, Components and Packaging for Laser Systems V, 108990F (4 March 2019);

Cited by 6 scholarly publications.
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