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Communication relay and a space-fed phased array radar, both utilizing improved mach-zehnder interferometer

A space-fed phased array radar utilizes a network of improved Mach-Zehnder interferometers to provide a space-fed, optically controlled millimeter wave/microwave antenna array that is capable of either one-way or two-way transmission. In the two-way communication relay mode, both ends of the relay link can remotely switch from a transmit to a receive mode and vice versa while, at the same time, steering the outgoing radiation beams on both sides of the relay so as to achieve maximum signal-to-noise ratio between the two terminals (i.e. signal stations) of the communication link. The improvements include receiving antenna with beam-scanning capability to receive millimeter or microwave signals from a first signal station, amplifiers to amplify outgoing signals prior to being radiated outwardly by transmitting antenna and a means to render the same antenna array capable of being used in a two-way transmit and receive mode. Controlling in a prescribed manner the voltage or current that is applied to the optical signal determines the shape and direction of the outgoing signal radiated into space.
Inventors: 

Paul R. Ashley, William C. Pittman

Patent Number: 
US6081232
Patent Issue Date: 
July 27, 2000
Phone: 
(256) 876-3552
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