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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.

Paul R. Ashley, William C. Pittman

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