Optical Phased Array technology will revolutionize optical systems. Within the last year or two we have had a demonstration of nonmechanical beam steering over a 45 degree x 45 degree field of regard. This demonstration had a response time of 6 - 40 millisecond, and a beam size of about a half of a centimeter. It had an efficiency of 15 -20 %. We are now working to increase beam size and efficiency, and to decrease speed. This demonstration was for narrow band radiation. We are also working on methods of decreasing dispersion so we can steer broadband radiation. We have approaches for all of the above areas. Another area of work is to move into the MWIR and LWIR regions. Currently we are working mostly in the visible and NIR. In the long run we would like to combine optical phased array technology with microwave phased arrays, so it would be possible to steer both 15 Ghz , or about 1 cm wavelength, radiation and 200 THz, or about 1.5 um, radiation.
Paul McManamon, Paul McManamon,
"An overview of optical phased array technology and status", Proc. SPIE 5947, Liquid Crystals: Optics and Applications, 59470I (20 September 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.631412; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.631412