Advances in Liquid Crystal Beam Steering

Jay Stockley, Steven Serati

Published in SPIE Proceedings Volume 5550, Free-Space Laser Communications IV; (2004) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.562595

Abstract

A space platform for optical communications could benefit from nonmechanical beam steering in which no inertia is used to redirect the laser communications link. This benefit is to come in the form of compact, low-power, light-weight optical phased arrays that provide greater flexibility in their steering capability. Non-mechanical beam steering eliminates the need for massive optomechanical components to steer the field of view of optical systems. A phased array approach also allows for random access beam steering. This paper discusses nonmechanical beam steering based on liquid crystal on silicon optical phased array technology. Limitations of the current technology and improvements are presented.

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