Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Photonics, Optics and Lasers

Science and technology dealing with the transmission and manipulation of light

Showing 76 results for Photonics RSS
Free-space optics today requires a telescope, bulk lasers with mechanical beam-steering, detectors, and electronics. The Modular Optical Aperture Building Blocks (MOABB) program seeks to design all of these components into a single integrated device. In what would be deemed as the most complex electronic-photonic circuit ever fashioned, the program’s performers will work to create a wafer-scale system that is 100x smaller and lighter than conventional systems and can steer the optical beam 1,000x faster than mechanical components.
Recent advances in our understanding of light-matter interactions, often with patterned and resonant structures, reveal nascent concepts for new interactions that may impact many applications. Examples of these novel phenomena include interactions involving active media, symmetry, non-reciprocity, and linear/nonlinear resonant coupling effects.
Micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS) are employed in many Department of Defense (DoD) systems. These devices find use in compact accelerometers and gyroscopes for stability control and inertial navigation and in switches for optical communication and data routing. Incredibly, these devices still operate many of orders of magnitude away from their ultimate limits. Techniques to reduce or overcome thermal noise in MEMS/NEMS devices are critical for realizing their full potential.
The POEM program aims to address electrical communications link limitations by developing chip-scale, integrated photonic technology to enable seamless intrachip and offchip photonic communications that provide the required bandwidth with low energy/bit. The POEM program will exploit wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), allowing much higher bandwidth capacity per link, which is imperative to meeting the communication needs of future microprocessors. Such a capability would propel the microprocessor onto a new performance trajectory and impact the actual runtime performance of DoD-relevant computing tasks for power-starved embedded applications and supercomputing.
Advances in digital microelectronics have enabled indispensable capabilities for the Department of Defense (DoD) in the fields of information processing, sensors, and communications. Increasingly, system performance in these domains is constrained not by the limits of computation at individual nodes, but by electrical data movement between individual chips.