A device is described for generating true-time delays optically for microwave signals used in beam steering and beam shaping in phased-array antennas. The device can be adapted to provide delays from picoseconds to nanoseconds. A single, compact unit should provide parallel delays for more than 64 independent antenna elements with a greater than 6-bit resolution. The time delays are produced by multiple reflections in a mirror configuration with continuous refocusing. A single spatial light modulator selects independent optical path lengths for each of the parallel antenna elements. Amplitude control for beam shaping can be integrated into the device. The unit can be made rugged for harsh environments by use of solid-block construction. The operation of the true-time delay device is described, along with the overall system configuration. Preliminary experimental data are given.
© 1997 Optical Society of America
Betty Lise Anderson, Stuart A. Collins, Elizabeth A. Beecher, Charles A. Klein, and Stephen B. Brown, "Optically produced true-time delays for phased antenna arrays," Appl. Opt. 36, 8493-8503 (1997)