School of
Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

An Optical Link for the Airborne Environment

Conrad Fontes, Micreo LtdThu, 10/10/2013 - 17:30
Konstanty Bialkowski (IEEE MTT/AP Qld)

Optical links have been around for many years, but it has only been in the last decade or so that optical component specifications have reached a standard that has allowed an expansion into systems that operates in hostile environments. This presentation will take an in depth look at two optical links in production at Micreo Limited. The Airborne Optical Link (AOL), the first qualified airborne optical link in the industry, which presents many opportunities for outfitting future aircraft with photonic links. Secondly, the Microwave Optical Link (MOL10), a 40GHz bandwidth 19inch rack photonic link being trialled as an alternate to coaxial cable for routing multiple RF signals to different locations over short to medium distances. The presentation will also cover some of the challenges faced in manufacturing and qualifying a custom optical system for the hostile airborne environment, including packaging/routing fibre optics in a low volume chassis, understanding the interactions between RF and optical components in an optical link to achieve reasonable performance specifications such as Noise Figure and 1dB compression points, and achieving operation stability over wide temperature ranges and during vibration. 


Conrad Fontes is a recent graduate RF engineer from the University of Queensland and has been working for Micreo Limited for two years. Conrad did an industry based thesis with Micreo Limited under the supervision of Dr Ashley Robinson and A/Prof Aleksander Rakic. Conrad is now working on a number of projects at Micreo with an emphasis on microwave electro-optic modules. 

Seminar Type: 

ITEE Research Seminar