Phased array optics


Phased array optics

Phased array optics (PAO) is the technology of controlling the phase of light waves transmitting or reflecting from a two-dimensional surface by means of adjustable surface elements. It is the optical analog of phased array radar. By dynamically controlling the optical properties of a surface on a microscopic scale, it is possible to steer the direction of light beams, or the view direction of sensors, without any moving parts. Hardware associated with beam steering applications is commonly called an optical phased array (OPA) [cite journal
last = McManamon P.F. et al
title = Optical phased array technology
journal = Proceedings of the IEEE, Laser radar applications
volume = 84
pages = 99–320
year = 1996
publisher = IEEE
url = http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=3024704
accessdate = 2007-02-18
] . Phased array beam steering is used for optical switching and multiplexing in optoelectronic devices, and for aiming laser beams on a macroscopic scale.

Complicated patterns of phase variation can be used to produce diffractive optical elements, such as dynamic virtual lenses, for beam focusing or splitting in addition to aiming. Dynamic phase variation can also produce real-time holograms. Devices permitting detailed addressable phase control over two dimensions are a type of spatial light modulator (SLM).

In nanotechnology, phased array optics refers to arrays of lasers or SLMs with addressable phase and amplitude elements smaller than a wavelength of light [cite book
last = Wowk B
authorlink = Brian Wowk
chapter = Phased Array Optics
title = Molecular Speculations on Global Abundance
editor = BC Crandall
publisher = MIT Press
date= 1996
pages = 147-160
isbn = 0262032376
url = http://www.phased-array.com/1996-Book-Chapter.html
accessdate = 2007-02-18
] . While still theoretical, such high resolution arrays would permit extremely realistic three dimensional image display by dynamic holography with no unwanted orders of diffraction. Applications for weapons, space communications, and invisibility by optical camouflage have also been suggested [cite book
last = Wowk B
authorlink = Brian Wowk
chapter = Phased Array Optics
title = Molecular Speculations on Global Abundance
editor = BC Crandall
publisher = MIT Press
date= 1996
pages = 147-160
isbn = 0262032376
url = http://www.phased-array.com/1996-Book-Chapter.html
accessdate = 2007-02-18
] .

References

ee also

* Holography
* Phased array
* Spatial light modulator

External links

* [http://www.phased-array.com Phased Array Optics]


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