Acquisition of Equipment to Support Lightwave and Microwave Research
Project Award Date: 09-01-2001
We propose an equipment grant to enhance ongoing and future lightwave communications and radar remote sensing research and education at the University of Kansas. The instrumentation we propose to acquire includes various lightwave components, a network analyzer, a portable spectrum analyzer, two arbitrary waveform generators, a high-speed data acquisition system, and a high-speed oscilloscope. The lightwave components includes lasers with integrated electro- absorption modulators, high-power erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFA), a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA), a 35-GHz photo receiver with amplifier, fiber-optic delay lines, optical splitters/combiners, an extended DWDM-band tunable laser, and pump laser diodes for a Raman amplifier.
We propose to use the lightwave equipment to upgrade our 10 Gb/s test beds to 40 Gb/s to support ongoing and future research activities. We will use the high-speed oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer for testing and calibrating our existing radars as well as the new ones being developed for glacial ice studies and as prototypes for Mars observation. We will use the arbitrary waveform generators as flexible signal sources to support activities related to ongoing efforts on the development of a pulse-compression LIDAR and also investigating optimized waveforms for various remote sensing applications. We propose to use the network analyzer primarily as a dedicated source and receiver for our antenna testing range, which is needed to support our radar development activities.
In lightwave communications research, the 40 Gb/s per optical channel is the next signaling rate to be deployed to meet society's insatiable communication needs. Extensive experimental testing is required to study and evaluate the many questions critical to the implementation of this signaling rate. The proposed upgrades to our testbed will allow us to evaluate the performance of components, subsystems, and systems at this signaling rate. To launch and then detect 40 Gb/s signals for system evaluation, short-pulse lasers, power dividers and combiners, and wide-bandwidth photodetectors are needed. In addition, to manage fiber nonlinearities for these increased signaling rates, distributed signal amplification with Raman amplifiers will need to be employed.
Three ongoing projects in remote sensing will benefit significantly from the proposed test equipment: (1) measurement of ice thickness and accumulation rate over the Greenland ice sheet; (2) design and development of a radar prototype for Mars; and (3) design and development of a pulse compression LIDAR for a future satellite mission. The test equipment will allow us to improve our existing coherent radar depth sounder for obtaining ice thickness data over a few outlet glaciers that are thinning and for which no ice thickness data are available. The ice thickness data are essential to the study of the dynamics of these glaciers. The Mars radar development involves design tradeoffs in modulation waveform, frequency, sidelobe levels, and antenna size. The test equipment will contribute to testing and evaluating an optimized prototype radar for a future Mars lander or/and orbiter, as well as investigating the use of single- sideband modulation techniques to improve the sensitivity of our pulse compression LIDAR.
Currently 17 graduate students, seven undergraduate students, two post-doctoral research engineers, and five faculty are involved in the ongoing research projects. We anticipate similar numbers of students and research associates to be involved in future lightwave communications and remote sensing research at this institution. Thus the proposed equipment is a significant contribution to the research and education mission of the University of Kansas.
Primary Sponsor(s): National Science Foundation