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Peter Maat (ASTRON)

Photonic signal processing & transport R&D for LOFAR and SKA - Peter Maat Engineering Colloquium

The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
15:30-16:30 Tue 07 Oct 2008

ATNF Marsfield Lecture Theatre


In the presentation the optical signal transport and optical signal processing R&D activities at ASTRON will be described. The DIGITAL optical signal transport related work at ASTRON is focussed on the network design/development for LOFAR and SKA. The development work for the LOFAR telescope is in its final phase while for SKA only preliminary and general designs are investigated. The LOFAR situation will be used for describing ASTRONs digital signal transport activity.

In addition to the transport of digital signals, also much analog signal transportation is needed in LOFAR and SKA. In the case of LOFAR, co-axial cables are employed for the signal transport. For SKA, however, this solution might result in unacceptably high RF losses, due to the relative high frequencies at which it operates. The use of optical analog links in SKA is a good option to avoid this problem. Due to the special requirements of SKA for its (optical) analog links, custom made technology is needed. ASTRON started recently with the development of this technology.

Once the Rf signal is transferred into the optical domain, microwave-photonic components, like photonic beamformers can be inserted into the optical links, for a further improvement of the system properties. The microwave-photonic component R&D is focussed on a longer term technology development and will not provide components for the first phase of SKA. Both the optical analog link developments and the microwave-photonic component R&D will be described.

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