Publications of the Research Group Computational Photonics

Prof. Dr. Antonio Calà Lesina

On the performance of optical phased array technology for beam steering: effect of pixel limitations

authored by
Antonino Calà Lesina, Dominic Goodwill, Eric Bernier, Lora Ramunno, Pierre Berini

Optical phased arrays are of strong interest for beam steering in telecom and LIDAR applications. A phased array ideally requires that the field produced by each element in the array (a pixel) is fully controllable in phase and amplitude (ideally constant). This is needed to realize a phase gradient along a direction in the array, and thus beam steering in that direction. In practice, grating lobes appear if the pixel size is not sub-wavelength, which is an issue for many optical technologies. Furthermore, the phase performance of an optical pixel may not span the required 2π phase range or may not produce a constant amplitude over its phase range. These limitations result in imperfections in the phase gradient, which in turn introduce undesirable secondary lobes. We discuss the effects of non-ideal pixels on beam formation, in a general and technology-agnostic manner. By examining the strength of secondary lobes with respect to the main lobe, we quantify beam steering quality and make recommendations on the pixel performance required for beam steering within prescribed specifications. By applying appropriate compensation strategies, we show that it is possible to realize high-quality beam steering even when the pixel performance is non-ideal, with intensity of the secondary lobes two orders of magnitude smaller than the main lobe.

Institute of Transport and Automation Technology
Hannover Centre for Optical Technologies (HOT)
PhoenixD: Photonics, Optics, and Engineering - Innovation Across Disciplines
External Organisation(s)
University of Ottawa
Huawei Technologies Canada Co., Ltd.
Optics Express
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
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