Electromagnetic-Attack-Resistant Modulator
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-066
Topic Title: Electromagnetic-Attack-Resistant Modulator
Proposal No.: N131-066-0768
Firm: Photonic Systems, Inc.
900 Middlesex Turnpike
Building #5
Billerica, Massachusetts 01821
Contact: Gary Betts
Phone: (978) 670-4990
Web Site: www.photonicsinc.com
Abstract: This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop an electro-optic modulator that can withstand electromagnetic attacks (EMAs) in all their forms: nuclear electromagnetic pulse, high-power microwave, and ultra-wideband. The modulator is a modified form of our state-of-the-art low-Vpi lithium niobate Mach-Zehnder modulator, so it will simultaneously enable a low-noise-figure photonic link and provide protection from EMAs. A microwave-photonic link using this modulator can be used wherever a photonic link is normally used, or it can be added to other electronic systems to provide a protected path for received signals that isolates the electronic system from its antenna. The hardened microwave-photonic links developed here eliminate any metallic connection between the antenna and the protected system, the protection is always on (instantaneous response), and the recovery time after a pulse is very short (~250 microseconds); to our knowledge, this performance is superior to any existing protection technology.
Benefits: Phase I of this Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will begin development of an electro-optic modulator that enables low-noise microwave-photonic links to withstand electromagnetic attack (EMA). These links can be used to protect electronics, and they provide more capable protection than any existing technology. The market consists of two parts: existing photonic links that can use the modulator as a component, and complete links incorporating the modulator. Products would thus be both the modulator component and the complete link. Most initial use will be military systems that receive electromagnetic signals and so must have a connection to an antenna that is subject to EMA. There will be a commercial market too, if only for critical infrastructure systems. Because this is, to our knowledge, superior to any other protection solution, we expect that it would dominate the market and therefore result in new manufacturing and sales jobs in the US.