Spatial Light Modulation for Secure Satellite Optical Communications Networks-ON-379

Desired discipline(s): Aerospace studies, Engineering, Engineering - computer / electrical, Physics / Astronomy, Natural Sciences
Company: Honeywell Aerospace
Project Length: Longer than 1 year
Preferred start date: 10/07/2020
Language requirement: English
Location(s): Ottawa, Canada; Canada
No. of positions: 1
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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.

Please describe the project.: 

This project is aimed to develop low-cost technologies to support Secure Satellite Optical Communications Networks. The successful applicant will conduct research on the application of Spatial Light Modulators for optical satellite communication links.  An optical system that uses a reconfigurable spatial light modulator (SLM) 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.  

This research will be focused on the development and test of an optical metrology system and SLM software in collaboration with a single point diamond turning manufacturer.  Important research questions surround the applicability of cm-sized state-of-the-art SLMs 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.

Additionaly, the research will seek to determine the potential to use SLMs:

  • to cost-effectively mitigate wavefront errors in large space-based optical systems
  • to do mechanism-free beam fine pointing,
  • for adaptive optics in a future optical communications ground station,
  • to generate multiple independently targeted communications beams, and
  • to generate exotic angular momentum photon states for multiplexed communications.
  • Assess feasibility of project with existing high-end SLM.
  • 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 wavefront error mitigation, beam pointing, AO, multiple beam tracking, and helical state generation.
  • Assess feasibility of applications in the field.


Required expertise/skills: 

  • Understanding of optics and interferometery
  • Familiarity with laboratory optical test hardware
  • Software expertise compatible with running laboratory systems and developing arbitrary SLM scripts
  • Preference for a Post-doctoral fellow or a PhD student/candidate.