Spatial Phase Modulation for Secure Satellite Optical Communications Networks - ON-228

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.  The second of these three projects involves conducting research on the application of Spatial Phase Modulators for for optical satellite links.  An optical system that uses a reconfigurable spatial phase modulator (SPM) and supporting phase pattern generator software, would offer significant savings over the use of computer-generated holograms for the interferometric metrology to measure figure error of off-axis diamond turned mirrors, particularly in light of the fact that new holograms are required to be generated for each mirror.   

Research Objectives:

This research will be focused on the development and test of an optical metrology system and SPM software in collaboration with a single point diamond turning manufacturer.  Important research questions surround the applicability of cm-sized state-of-the-art SPMs to diamond turning of large mirrors exceeding 15 cm in diameter with sufficient resolution to meet the demanding optical tolerances, as well as understanding the total ‘sag’ that can be achieved in the target part.

More specifically, the research will seek to determine the potential to use SPMs:

  • to do mechanism-free beam pointing,
  • to generate multiple independently targeted communications beams,
  • to generate exotic angular momentum photon states for multiplexed communications, and
  • for adaptive optics in a future optical communications ground station.


  • Assess feasibility of project with existing high-end SPM.
  • Develop and undertake experimental verification of the performance capabilities of optical metrology system and hologram software in collaboration with mirror manufacturer(s)
  • Work in the Honywell Aerospace optical lab to demonstrate beam pointing, multiple beam tracking, helical state generation and AO.
  • Assess feasibility of applications in the field.

Expertise and Skills Needed:

  • Understanding of optics and interferometery
  • Familiarity with laboratory optical test hardware
  • Software expertise compatible with running laboratory systems and developing arbitrary SPM scripts

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.