Electro-optical Chip Development for Secure Satellite Optical Communications Networks - ON-229

Preferred Disciplines: Physics, Optics, Electronics (PhD or Post-Doc preferred)
Company: Honeywell Aerospace 
Project Length: 2 years
Desired start date: As soon as possible 
Location: Ottawa, ON
No. of Positions: 1
Preferences: None

About the Company: 

A part of Honeywell Aerospace, the Honeywell Space Greenhouse is an incubator headquartered in Ottawa for new space technologies and products.  We are currently focused on developing optical intersatellite link terminals for the emerging satellite internet constellation market.

Project Description:

There are three projects to develop low-cost technologies to support Secure Satellite Optical Communications Networks, including the determination of the effectiveness of the use of terrestrial parts for use in space environments.  One of the three projects involves conducting research that will help the development of an electro-optical chip that will allow mechanism-free pointing of a multi-watt coherent laser communications beam in a resource-limited environment.

Research Objectives:

The research on the development of the desired electro-optical chip is intended to support the achievement of the following:

  • Development of efficient star output couplers;
  • Development of  high strength surface gratings in small apertures;
  • Development of a power efficient large array of phase shifters.  


  • Design and simulate low-loss multi-mode interference-based star couplers with multiple outputs and optimize with respect to thermal sensitivity.
  • Design and simulate surface gratings and optimize etch parameters with respect to output efficiency in a small aperture
  • Model and assess affects of thermal cross-coupling on phase shifter performance, and implement design optimizations
  • Model and assess far field beam quality and steering expectations and provide design inputs
  • Perform detailed layout and iterate with fabrication facility
  • Develop detailed laboratory test plan and demonstration
  • Support development of massively parallel phase shift amplifier array and interface cabling to the chip and to the LabView system
  • Develop optimization software to monitor far-field beam quality and drive phase shifter arrays

Expertise and Skills Needed:

  • Finite element analysis and EM propagators for photonic design
  • Waveguide layout and simulation software expertise
  • Basic knowledge of free space optics
  • Basic knowledge of diffraction theory
  • Basic knowledge of optical phased array theory
  • Experience with LabView or other laboratory test software
  • Familiarity with lasers and basic optical metrology tools in a laboratory environment
  • Familiarity with photonic phase shifting elements

Honeywell Aerospace complies with the requirements of the Controlled Goods Program and, prior to project commencement, will complete a security assessment of any intern selected for this project.

For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

  1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects
  2. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send their CV along with a link to their supervisor’s university webpage by applying through the webform.