When lightning strikes, thunder follows. Can light-to-sound phenomena like this be harnessed in optical fibers or waveguides the size of a human hair?
Sandia National Laboratories and Rockwell Collins are going to find out. They have been selected for Phase 3 of the DARPA Mesodynamic Architectures program. The aim of the program is to research light-to-sound conversion in ultra-small optical waveguides and develop future system capabilities beyond those attainable with existing technology. The technologies enable secure communication, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in small, low-cost packages.
During Phases 1 and 2, the team demonstrated a capability to perform radio frequency filtering in components 10,000 times smaller than those used today. This program promises to significantly reduce the size, weight, power and cost for communication systems and provide the opportunity to add new capabilities such as networking, electronic warfare and advanced waveforms without increasing the volume of existing solutions.
In Phase 3, the team will be tasked with a final demonstration showing this filtering approach can be achieved in a high-performance radio.
“Once this is developed, Rockwell Collins can transition this new technology into capabilities that will aid the warfighter while meeting the Department of Defense’s (DoD) goals of reducing the size, weight, power and cost of communication equipment,” said John Borghese, vice president of the Rockwell Collins Advanced Technology Center.
Sandia National Laboratories is fabricating the nano-scale waveguide devices and Rockwell Collins will demonstrate their performance by integrating the capability into DoD products.
About Rockwell Collins
Rockwell Collins is a pioneer in the development and deployment of innovative communication and aviation electronic solutions for both commercial and government applications. Our expertise in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications, simulation and training, and information management is delivered by a global workforce, and a service and support network that crosses more than 150 countries. For more information, visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
SOURCE: Rockwell Collins