17 October 1997 Reconfigurable photonic-based rf and data signal distribution systems for space-based sensor and avionics applications
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Abstract
Existing manned airborne platforms are becoming increasingly loaded with additional mission performance requirements. These requirements severely stress weight, mission performance, size and electromagnetic interference (EM!) constraints. In addition, as platforms are reduced in size - such as space-based platforms - these limitations become extremely critical. Optical fiber-based systems can be used to provide both data and RF signal distribution for sensors and avionics. These photonic-based systems are lighter weight, smaller in size, lower in loss, and reduce or eliminate signal interference as compared to existing metallic-based signal distribution systems. These fiber based systems apply to both RF and data transmission in manned and unmanned space-based and airborne platforms as well as ground based applications. Photonics also provides non-frequency dependent true time delay RF signal distribution. This results in the additional benefit of improved interferometric direction finding and beam nulling through software applications in sensor and avionics systems. This paper will discuss research which is underway at Rome Laboratory to develop actively reconfigurable photonic-based signal distribution systems, using either all optical techniques - including optical switching - or through a combination of optics and electronics, to meet the future requirements for avionics and sensors in airborne and space-based platforms.
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Norman P. Bernstein, James L. Davis, Brian M. Hendrickson, James R. Hunter, Paul L. Repak, Gregory J. Zagar, Serey Thai, "Reconfigurable photonic-based rf and data signal distribution systems for space-based sensor and avionics applications", Proc. SPIE 3124, Photonics for Space Environments V, (17 October 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.279009; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.279009
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