COMPACT PHOTONIC MODULES FOR AIRBORNE NAVIGATION AND COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

TeraXion’s AeroP project focuses on the development of two compact photonic modules and aims to replace heavier and more energy-consuming systems in aircraft. These two modules share an advanced technological platform based on the use of micro-optics and silicon photonic chips. These devices lead to radical space and weight savings in airborne optical systems, while ensuring their reliability in challenging environmental conditions.

Test bench for silicon photonic chips

The first device is an integrated radiofrequency (RF) photonic module for use in airborne communication systems. It will be able to transmit, receive and/or convert RF signals using optics. In addition to increasing the bandwidth of RF systems, this module will allow the replacement of coaxial cables in aircraft by lightweight fiber optic links.

 

Finally, TeraXion will also further the development of an integrated multi-frequency laser source for use in next-generation navigation systems. This laser source has the potential to enable significant weight reduction over current gyroscope technologies.

Alpha prototype of the integrated RF photonic module

Once finished, the photonic module prototypes will be submitted to more rigorous testing in conditions very similar to an operational environment. This will allow TeraXion to demonstrate photonic integration’s potential for reducing the weight of airborne sub-systems while upholding the high level of performance and reliability expected by the industry.  

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