Novel, Very Wide-Bandwidth Characterization Technique
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-059
Topic Title: Novel, Very Wide-Bandwidth Characterization Technique
Proposal No.: N131-059-0228
8711 148th Ave NE
Redmond, Washington 98052-3483
Contact: Matthew Hall
Phone: (425) 869-8673
Web Site:
Abstract: EOSPACE proposes developing a practical, very-wide-bandwidth electrical characterization technique based on advanced photonic signal processing. The characterization method only requires a high-speed mm-wave source and uses exclusively low-speed optical detection, eliminating the need for high-speed photodiodes. This effort would build on the recent breakthroughs in ultra-wide-bandwidth electro-optic modulator characterization methods at EOSPACE. The proposed technique is a fast, swept-frequency approach and is robust against virtually all common weaknesses in photonic measurement systems, such as optical power fluctuations and spectral changes in the optical source and electrical small-signal limit restrictions. The optical paths in the measurement system are entirely in optical waveguides, optical-bias and alignment-free, and the system has no mechanical moving parts. As the method does not rely on high-speed photodetection, it can be extended beyond 110 GHz to 1THz-merely by changing the electrical signal generator. Additionally, unlike many photonic methods, our characterization method can operate down to a few hundred kHz.
Benefits: The high cost of current mm-wave characterization technologies, creates a substantial drag on the pace of innovation and increases the eventual cost of mm-wave components. Leveraging a system's existing electrical source, an instrument based on the proposed method would be extremely compact, potentially leading to a virtually hand-held unit. In addition to wide-bandwidth electrical characterization, the underlying lightwave component characterization method would be accessible to aid the development of fast emerging mm-wave systems based on photonic-assisted signal generation and signal processing. Furthermore, the lightwave component characterization method is easily extendable to emerging wavelength bands around 1.06 �m and 2.0 �m as it does not require high-speed photodiodes. The technology developed under this program will provide immediate benefits for defense and commercial customers working in next-generation mm-wave technologies. The expected modest costs of the proposed measurement system would allow for additional participation in mm-wave component and system development, reducing system costs, hastening the adoption of mm-wave technologies and increasing the pace of innovation.