On-Chip True Time Delay Optical Beamforming for RF Phased Arrays

Our space-based radio-frequency communication is suffering from the use of simple phase shifters. Its bandwidth capability is limited, ultimately reducing the satellite’s capacity and the system’s service availability. Most electronic beamforming implementations are bulky, frequency dependent and they consume a significant amount of power. To replace those electronic components, structures which guide light on microchips have been suggested and demonstrated to work similarly to how light inside of fiber-optic cables now all brings TV and internet to our homes. This project will thus evaluate the feasibility of using those small optical structure to implement an innovative beamforming network architecture. The integration and assembly of those optical structure can lead to smaller beamformer dimensions, larger communication capacity and a lower cost. By doing so we aim to revolutionize space-based communications and bring it into a brighter future.

Faculty Supervisor:

Andrew Knights;Jonathan Bradley


Ross Anthony;Renjie Wang


MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.




McMaster University



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