The primary focus of photonics for antenna systems has, historically, been on the development of link and beam steering techniques. More recent work is focusing on the design of new types of antenna elements or arrays of elements to take advantage of the advantages in photonics. By using photonically controlled devices and materials and materials it is possible to produce revolutionary changes in antenna elements and in the design and properties of arrays, opening the door for a new class of antennas - photonically controlled reconfigurable antennas. In this paper we survey the history and current status of photonically reconfigurable antennas. This will include the evolution of photonically controlled switches for application in antennas. We look at photonic control of reactive devices and the optically variable capacitor and the evolution of this device towards monolithic integration. Finally, we also will look at the state of photonically reconfigurable silicon and its application to antenna design.
Michael L. Van Blaricum,
"Photonic antenna reconfiguration: a status survey", Proc. SPIE 3463, Photonics and Radio Frequency II, (3 November 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.330395; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.330395