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Appl Opt. 1994 Jun 20;33(18):3820-30. doi: 10.1364/AO.33.003820.

Experimental demonstration of an optical phased array antenna for laser space communications.


The feasibility of an optical phased array antenna applicable for spaceborne laser communications was experimentally demonstrated. Heterodyne optical phase-locked loops provide for a defined phase relationship between the collimated output beams of three single-mode fibers. In the far field the beams interfere with a measured efficiency of 99%. The main lobe of the interference pattern can be moved by phase shifting the subaperture output beams. The setup permitted agile beam steering within an angular range of 1 mr and a response time of 0.7 ms. We propose an operational optical phased array antenna fed by seven lasers, featuring high transmit power and redundance.

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