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Ultrafast dynamic beam steering with optical frequency comb arrays

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posted on 2024-04-11, 16:00 authored by Suparna Seshadri, Jie Wang, Andrew M. Weiner
Efficient spatiotemporal control of optical beams is of paramount importance in diverse technological domains. Conventional systems focusing on quasi-static beam control demand precise phase or wavelength tuning for steering. This work presents a time-efficient solution for dynamic beam steering, emphasizing high-duty-cycle operation with fast scan rates, and eliminating the need for active tuning of the beam direction. We achieve 100%-duty-cycle scans at a rate of $\sim$9.8 GHz within an angular range of $\sim$1$^\circ$. Furthermore, leveraging the dispersion characteristics of a virtually imaged phased array (VIPA), we devise a broadband source array that seamlessly transitions from continuous-angular steering to pulsed discrete-angular operation, unlocking possibilities for high-sensitivity angle-, range-, and time-resolved imaging. We also elucidate the adaptability of integrated photonic designs incorporating wavelength-selective switches and spectral dispersers, for enabling a versatile on-chip realization of the proposed beam steering schemes.

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