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Photonics Seminar: Dennis Prather, University of Delaware

Please join us October 7th,  for a one-hour talk from Professor Dennis Prather, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Delaware, titled:

Photonic Technologies for Frequency Agnostic RF Phased Array Systems

Abstract – This presentation will introduce a new approach to realizing broadband RF phased array antenna systems that provide software defined multi-function operation. The approach uses an antenna system that based on spatial perception, i.e., imaging of the RF environment, and thereby provides inherent spatial orthogonality to beam space processing which minimizes inter-beam interaction and thereby mitigates interference and/or jamming. While most antennas incorporate some degree of spatial selectivity, few are able to resolve hundreds of high bandwidth RF beams while enabling each to operate with independent functionality all at the same time. To demonstrate this capability, we have developed a spatially-coherent optical up-conversion process that relies on an RF-photonic feed network to perform real-time, massive beam-space processing, where each received beam is focused and thereby spatially resolved, or isolated, from all other beams, which results in a real-time “image” of the RF scene. In so doing, each beam is spatially orthogonal from the rest, which mitigates co- and adjacent-channel interference and jamming. In addition, each focused signal is optically down-converted to an intermediate frequency (IF) where high dynamic range analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) can be used. Thus, there is no need for ADCs that operate above the IF bandwidth. This dramatically improves the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and dynamic range, which is essential for multi-functional operation. Also, because the read-out network is based on optical fibers, it is inherently broadband and, thus, a single RF aperture can be used for simultaneous, multi-functional operation over extremely broad bandwidths. The end result is a multifunctional system that enables extreme spatial diversity and frequency agility, which is necessary to ensure efficient and effective RF systems in an increasingly congested and contested electromagnetic environment. Design methodology, fabrication methods for both photonic and electronic devices, as well as system integration and demonstration will be presented.

Bio – Professor Prather is currently an Endowed Professor of Electrical Engineering, he is a Fellow of the IEEE, Fellow of the Society of Photo-Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He has authored or co-authored over 650 scientific papers, holds over 40 patents, and has written 16 books/book-chapters.

This one-hour seminar will be presented in the ASRC Auditorium and broadcast via Zoom, with time for Q and A to follow.

Zoom Meeting ID: 595 955 6744


For more information about this hybrid event, please contact:

Leah Abraha


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Event Information

October 7, 2022
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
ASRC Auditorium
85 St. Nicholas Terrace
New York, NY 10031 United States
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