Microwave Photonics millimeter-wave generation
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»Introduction

PHOMIGEN Key-facts

Project acronym: PHOMIGEN
Project full title: Microwave Photonics Millimeter-wave Generation
Proposal/Contract no.: 21615 / 08 / NL / GLC
Start date of contract: March 2009
Project duration: 2 years
Contracting authority: European Space Agency (ESA)
Partner: 3 partners from 2 countries (1 industrial, 1 industrial research center, 1 university)

 


    

 

Project Summary

The operational frequency range of several potential applications, which include fixed services, broadband wireless access, short range nomadic services, indoor communication, radar and security as well as instrumentation applications is already in the millimeter-wave region or is expected to be extended into the millimeter-wave region within the next 5-10 years.


The photonic local oscillator (LO) or photonic synthesizer is a rather new concept for generating frequency-tunable and low-phase noise continuous-wave signals. Compared to purely electrical oscillators and other optical sources such as quantum cascade lasers, a photonic LO exhibits a number of unique features such as frequency-tunability, ultra-wideband operation and the possibility to operate without cryogenic cooling, making the photonic LO concept a very interesting alternative for several applications in the millimeter-wave and THz frequency regime. On top of that, a photonic synthesizer further allows to remote the LO unit from the receiver, for example in areas with limited temperature-range or better mechanical stability, as optical fibers can be used as low-loss and low-weight transportation media for the millimeter-wave signals.


PHOMIGEN aims at developing a fully functional and RF tested photonic LO with a remote transmitter unit which fulfills technical specifications such as wide-tunability, low phase noise performance as well as high output power. PHOMIGEN has a set of innovative approaches for the development of millimeter-wave photonic components for the generation and the emission of millimeter-wave signals. Advanced and compact photonic sources will be developed, including spectrally pure, ultra-wide tunable and highly stable millimeter-wave sources and receivers.


PHOMIGEN integrates partners from academic, industrial and technology centers, all known for their previous achievements in microwave photonic components and technologies. The joint efforts will bring millimeter-wave photonic components for generation and detection of high purity millimeter waves to a level of maturity.
To achieve these goals, relevant demonstrators will be developed to respond to the needs of high-performance source technology.

 

 

PHOMIGEN Key Objectives

The focus of this project is the use of microwave photonic techniques, which merge RF and photonics technologies, to develop a fully functional and RF tested photonic LO with a remote transmitter unit operating at a center frequency of 100 GHz with a tunability of at least 10% and low phase noise performance.

The main objectives of this proposal are summarized as follows:

  • To develop advanced photonic sources for the generation of millimeter-wave signals,
  • To develop advanced photonic photoreceivers for the conversion from optical millimeter-wave signals to electrical millimeter-wave signals,
  • To develop a fully functional and fully implemented photonic LO with remote transmitter unit.

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