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Photonic Integrated Circuits and Radar Developement.


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Oct 7, 2019
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What it is and how it differs from current electronics

“Conventional integrated circuits(MMICs) work by conducting electricity, or allowing electrons to flow easily through the circuit. Electrons are negatively charged subatomic particles that interact with other electrons as well as other particles. These interactions slow electrons down as they move through ICs, limit the amount of information that can be transmitted, and generate heat, which causes energy losses. A heat sink or other cooling technique is often required to regulate heat generation, otherwise the electrical components may become irreversibly damaged.

Photonic integrated circuits utilize photons, massless fundamental particles representing a quantum of light, instead of electrons. Photons move at the speed of light through the transmitting medium with almost no interference from other photons. This greatly increases the bandwidth and speed of the circuit while drastically reducing the amount of energy loss, making PICs more power efficient. With multiplexing techniques, an extremely large number of signals can be sent through a single-mode fiber that is orders of magnitude larger than the number of electrical signals that copper can transmit. A single fiber strand in a submarine transatlantic fiber optic cable can carry millions of simultaneous phone calls almost 100 km before needing amplification, and the amplifiers themselves are optically pumped lasers: no electronics involved.”

Aircraft Radar Claims

"Now the research is a full-fledged model of this radio-optical photonic antenna array, which will work out the characteristics of a production model". We understand what it (the radar) must be in any geometric size, on what bands and what power should work, he added. Kret also fulfills the technology specific elements of the new radar its emitter, photonic crystal, foster tract resonators. Serial sample locator do when we move to the stage of experimental design work (okr), for example, by order of the war department, said mikheyev. He explained that "Conventional radar station (radar) radiation is generated by vacuum-tube or semiconductor devices, the efficiency is relatively low – 30-40%". The remaining 60-70% of the energy is converted into heat. The new radar a radar signal is obtained by converting photonic crystal laser coherent energy in a microwave radiation.

This transmitter efficiency will be not less than 60-70%. That is a big part of laser energy will be converted into a radar, with the result that we can create a radar of high power, said the deputy director. The locator will not be a separate module in the nose of the aircraft, it will be a distributed system. Something similar can be seen today on the fifth generation fighter t-50 radar which operates in different bands and in different directions. In fact it is a single locator, but he exploded on the plane. It turns out about three or four different radars, which are comfortably placed around the fuselage and can simultaneously observe all the space around the aircraft, said mikheyev. Radiophony radar will be able to see, according to our estimates, far beyond the existing radar.

"The official propaganda of the Russians is generally the same: the detection distance is too far, the energy conversion efficiency is as high as 60%, the traditional radar is only 30%, and the noise is 100 times lower than the conventional radar, which greatly improves the signal-to-noise ratio, and the theoretical detection distance for the stealth target. More than 500 kilometers!"

“The Russian army may soon get a new type of radar that is able more effectively than traditional radars to identify targets even under conditions of jamming. The fundamental difference between radiophonic locators is that the signal processing is realized with the aid of optics, and not by the microwave electronics.

New technology creates a 3D image of the object, its three-dimensional portrait, and allows to determine its type. It is expected that in the next few years radiophotonic radars will be installed on the promising multifunctional fighters of the new generation.

The first prototype of the radar based on discrete radiophonic elements already created, has informed "Izvestia" the head of JSC "RTI" Maxim Kuzyuk. According to sources of "Izvestiya", the Ministry of defence takes part in trials of the new type radar.

The promising technology has several advantages. First and foremost, it is the size of the new locator – it is assumed that their size will be substantially less. In addition, they are reliable. Thirdly, more resistant to electromagnetic radiation.

At the moment the company develops the technology and carries out tests while looking for a new component database. In particular, the developers talk about the need for photonic integrated circuits.

Satellites from Same Company claim to track low altitude targets

“Alexander Osipov. - The institute has the necessary scientific and technical, software-algorithmic and technological for
matters for creating on a single structure the latest radar systems for spacecraft. Information technology enhancement technologies occupy an important place in the MRL, which was created at the institute: the use of innovative designs of sounding signals, the method of expanding the shooting band, innovative methods for detecting moving objects, super-resolution algorithms, methods for processing and integrating radar data. - The basic principles of radar are well known to scientists around the world. It is very difficult to come up with qualitatively new solutions in this area, but we succeeded. With the help of a supercomputer, we have developed algorithms for deep mathematical analysis that can detect moving targets. This is a very difficult task that no one has been able to solve before us, ”says Anatoly Leukhin. - The fact is that when we look at the Earth with a locator, we see not only rivers, oceans and cities, but also a huge amount of interference. Because of them, it’s sometimes very difficult to see even moving objects. The ability to monitor moving objects is an essential step in the development of radar. This technology can be widely used both for military and civilian purposes. For example, to create tracking systems Niya aircraft from space. This will bring the level of flight safety around the planet to a whole new level. RTI conducts tests of its space-based ballistic missile systems in flight experiments at the created experimental flight test complex.”

“Moreover, one should not expect that in the coming years all traditional radars will be replaced by photon radars - the capabilities of modern radars based on microwave paths are not completely exhausted.

Recall that the RTI also developed the Elik flight test complex, thanks to which radar stations will be able to classify aircraft of air, surface, low-flying and space objects. Real-time radars will be able to tell the operator what type of aircraft, cruise missile, satellite or ship appeared on the screen of the station.”


"In the interests of the task of monitoring the air situation at KIMS, software and algorithmic support is being developed for detecting and measuring the characteristics of air and surface objects, including at extremely low altitudes.”

Main Discussion Points for this Topic.

  1. The claim of lowering noise 100 times lower than conventional radars suggest a -20 decibel drop in receiving signals a whole lot better. The process is explained as to why that is of why light is a better medium than a electronic signal offer less noise loss which results in signals being better heard or targets being better tracked or detected depending on frequency.
  2. powerful SAR resolution such as their satellite prototype claiming to have a smaller SAR resolution than 10 cms and Chinese researchers have also claimed that ultra-high resolution SAR is achievable with this.
  3. Their satellite project is to be used for ballistic missile defenses it also has the capability to track low altitude targets and they explain their reasoning as huge interference from earth not allowing this capability to happen for them. Its a firecontrol band radar is said to classify targets such as if it is a cruise missile or aircraft and through civilian usage such as better airliner safety avoiding collisions to a whole new level around the globe. Their plan is to have a constellation of these satellites which basically means they are going to more aware of what military operations are being done in the skies and ground, etc. However performance results of tracking targets with these have yet to be revealed and depending on what they find for example some 5th gen topside being tracked and info relayed to other 4th gen aircrafts with tracking capabilities can result in a very huge problem, so far monitoring moving targets at very low altitudes or classifying them does not tell us that much.
  4. Their is a possibility that although the West is ahead of the Russians in MMICs, I think there is a current problem with their progression in FICs. https://phys.org/news/2014-03-fully-photonics-based-laser.html "The radar system, part of a project known as PHODIR (Photonics-based fully digital radar) is an effort to improve the tracking and speed calculation abilities of current electronic signal based systems. It's well understood that making improvements in such a system will require higher frequency signals, something that can't be done with current systems due to an increase in noise that creates more uncertainty in the signals received. For that reason, scientists have been looking to use lasers—such signals are much more stable. The radar system the team built is still just a prototype, though it does appear feasible. The team tested its abilities by monitoring real aircraft taking off at a nearby airport and then comparing what they observed with data from traditional electronic signal based systems. They report that the systems matched very closely. That of course is just an initial test, as McKinney notes, much more research and testing will need to be done before the researchers will know if such a system could provide better results than conventional systems. Also, another area of concern is range, which could impact jitter, and thus the accuracy of the system. " Raytheon has shown interests in producing FICs But I believe from this 2014 test result shows that if we get better test results than a conventional we can start planning mass production of these circuits. 2022-2025 are Russia's plans to start a mass production line.
Anything else can be added in this thread such as performance results of circuits, beneficial claims, reasons of becoming a huge hindrance to other foreign military projects, radar tracking performance and SAR resolution, etc.


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Oct 7, 2019
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More interesting news updates on photonic radars. https://itech.aorti.ru/upload/iblock/ac3/IT_23.pdf Google translated the pages.

"Then comes to mind
a person born in the Soviet Union when he hears the word
"Elik"? Possibly: “What has I reached?”
progress? To unprecedented miracles! Sank to the depths
and rose to heaven! ”In this children's film with a philosophical
the subtext of the android Electronics, or Elek, freed a person from routine duties, and Seryozha’s personality
Syroezhkina began to develop rapidly. About
the ELIK project can also change the development of modern business, science and defense
Institute of Radio Engineering
(RTI) named after academician Mints
and Mari State University.
"ELIK" stands for experimental
flight test complex. Scientists took up their development in 2013. To date, specialists
fully mastered the technology, created a workable layout and tested it
In action.
- The main value of the ELIK project is that
we have now created a completely new, unconventional
direction for RTI named after academician Mints, ”explains Anatoly Leukhin, Deputy General
Director of the Institute for Scientific Work. - Everyone knows that
we produce large ground stations, superradar. A competency
on the development of airborne radar systems
we did not have. Now it is -
we created inside the institute
such a technology. We can say that we will soon be ready to move to the production stage of the experimental
sample, and then serial
In the framework of the ELIK project
developed hardware and software complex, one
part of which is installed on board an airplane or helicopter, the other is stationary
is on the ground.
The hardware part of the airborne radar consists
from several large building blocks. It is active
phased array X- and P-bands.
- In the X-band we reach a resolution of 30 cm
inclined range
and in azimuth. In the P-band
we achieve resolving
ability of 2.5 m in azimuth and range, - clarifies
Deputy General Director of the Institute.
Also in the side of the radar there are transmitting
modules, a device for transferring frequency to an intermediate frequency with subsequent
digitization of data, a device for recording holograms and the formation of radar images, block
recording navigation information and digital signal processing unit.
- We have right on board
it is possible to form a radio hologram and build radar
images, - says Anatoly Leukhin.
On the ground is set
complex simulation

modeling stand - high performance computing servers. It is used for computer
modeling, testing
all algorithms and the formation of model radar images.
- The software part of the onboard radar is
a large set of different procedures for the formation of radio holograms and radar
images, - reveals the details of Anatoly Leukhin. -
Given two polarizations,
excluding two polarizations,
with the construction of a pseudo-color or monochromatic radar image, with different functions
display dynamic alignment
on the screen, with a different set of autofocus algorithms, taking into account navigation information and without it
accounting, with adjustment of the horizontal component
speed and the vertical component of speed, etc.
That is, it is a very multifunctional program.
works in real time and allows you to create a radar
image and even video data stream right on the screen
This summer, onboard
radar project "ELIK"
passed tests at the Malino airport in the suburbs. He fully confirmed
scientists' calculations: equally
clearly sees objects in the fog,
in the rain, through dense foliage and tarpaulin, night and day.
As experts noted,
this is a great tool for
border control
and air reconnaissance.
- We counted on such results - they
were not news to us, -
says Anatoly Leukhin. -
But completely unexpected
in the radar pictures we saw large shields laid out by each
after another. There was nothing on earth, so first
did not even understand what it is.
It turned out that we got
underground vision results. These were stainless steel sheets. During World War II,
as the head of the airdrome later said, they served
Runway times
World War II was
covered in 30 centimeters
a layer of earth. Scientists continued the experiment and discovered cables of the same pore at a much greater depth.
However, airborne radar systems are inferior to optical instruments
remote sensing accuracy. Moreover, they
have a number of obvious advantages. The first is the absolute correlation between
radar images and humidity that
allows you to talk about the application in agriculture.
Secondly, in the optical range it is difficult to build
three-dimensional image, and in the radio range you can form a three-dimensional image with a very high
in height, and much easier than in optics. Therefore, where you need three-dimensional
scanning, a radar is preferable to optical. Another major benefit: sounding
land by airborne radar is much cheaper. It opens wide
opportunities for civilian use. For example, in archaeological
- If ELIK comes out
to the market and will be available,
then in archeology will happen
revolution! - Vladimir Poryvaev admires the opening opportunities,
military archaeologist and the first
officially recognized treasure hunter in Russia. - First of all, it will be possible to detect all the lost
military equipment of the Great Patriotic War and bury soldiers of all armies. And it’s not going to take decades to search,
but a few days. Next year is the 75th anniversary of the Victory,
and we could already put
point in that war saluting
to the last soldier.
Archaeologists work with
with small ground-based georadars, and in principle, devices
cope with their task.
For example, using a radar, a cave was discovered at the pyramid of the moon in the legendary ancient Mexican
the city of Teotihuacan. In Austria
under modern houses found archaeological
the remnants of the city of Karnunt are
the largest settlement of the ancient Romans in these places.
But the main problem of georadars is that you need to know where
to search. Endless steppes or
thick taiga with it
practically scan
impossible. A radar
the ELIK project gives an opportunity for carpet archaeological exploration: one flight -
and almost all the secrets of history
the world at a glance.
- The oldest cultural layer is located

at a depth of 30−35 m. But the ancient Roman, Mexican,
Russian settlements are located just 2 m below the surface of the earth, although they date back to 2-3 millenniums
BC. "ELIK" would allow in the literal sense of the word to look deep into
centuries, - so Vladimir Poryvaev imagines which
opportunities will open for
science and culture. - If we talk about point discoveries, then we can find a treasure
Kolchak (he is somewhere in Siberia), the treasure of Napoleon (in the vicinity of Vyazma). Guns, ancient weapons, decorations
Kremlin and the Cross of Ivan the Great - according to legend, trophies were taken out of Moscow burned
huge convoys.
The advantages of airborne radars are also obvious.
"ELIK" when controlling the sidebars
pipelines and inspection of oil pipelines underground and underwater at shallow depths. Airborne radar
can detect deposits
light oil, monitor the thickness of ice and monitor the ice situation in the North
sea way.
Now RTI named after Mints
is in negotiations with the holding
Russian Helicopters on the acquisition of on-board radars of the ELIK project. And although
the airborne radar market has not yet been formed,
according to Anatoly Leukhin,
their mass use
not far away. Firstly, because the best of them allow you to carry out all-inclusive
and round-the-clock observations, and secondly, all technologies are deeply developed, experimentally confirmed
and understandable their practical
It is only necessary to formulate it on the legislative
level. As soon as appropriate decisions are made, mass demand will not be long in coming. &
Underground Vision Results
"ELIK" - sheets
steel serving
during the great
runway wars
At shallow depths"


P-band The radar frequency band between 225 and 390 MHz. It is commonly used in remote sensing because of its good vegetation penetration.

Apparently pilots will become archaeologists.


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Oct 7, 2019
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https://tass.com/defense/1111675 Same said company.

"The RTI Joint Stock Company, a developer and producer of high-tech products, will create new radars that operate in terahertz frequency range and are capable of pinpointing the smallest drone, RTI CEO Pavel Laptayev told TASS.

"The terahertz technology [featuring radio wave length below one millimeter] will be converted into a product within five years. These radars can detect small drones, and function in space," Laptayev explained.

According to the CEO, the submillimeter radar enables a beam to be aimed on a relatively small object with extraordinary precision, impossible for other ranges, and identify its shape, material, speed and trajectory.

Laptayev admitted that RTI managed to achieve significant success in the terahertz range only in 2019, with the company mastering the components for such stations, and learning to identify objects and materials. According to the CEO, the RTI specialists now work on radar software that would swiftly and effectively classify a target and relay this information to the operator.

"This task will take more time than creating a prototype, because it requires accumulating data and implementing machine learning methods," the CEO specified.

Small drones are considered a serious threat because they can go unnoticed by conventional radars, especially when flying at low altitudes and low speed. For instance, drones rigged with explosives, attacked Saudi Aramco’s two largest refineries on September 14, 2019. The blasts and fires caused by the strike sent the world’s biggest oil exporter’s daily extraction plunging from 9.8 million bpd to 4.1 million bpd."


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"Within the framework of the international forum “Security Technologies”, RTI JSC will present a demo sample of a dual-band inspection complex operating in millimeter (mm) and terahertz (THz) wavelengths. The complex is designed for secretive remote detection of potentially dangerous objects and prohibited substances. The use of the complex is expected at inspection points, crowds, in the railway infrastructure.

The created dual-frequency streaming screening complex allows for reliable detection and discrimination of weapons, narcotic and explosive substances. Thanks to the use of mm and THz radiation, the complex will determine with high resolution and distinguish between types of recognizable potentially dangerous objects using the element of artificial intelligence - machine learning. The penetrating ability of mm and THz radiation, as well as the structural features of the complex, allows you to place all the elements behind the walls of the corridors.

The technologies used will be able to reliably determine the coordinates of potentially dangerous objects, their radio images under clothing, and identify prohibited substances. The screening process using the technologies used is non-ionizing, unlike the X-ray screening systems currently in use.

“The installation of modern inspection systems built on new wavelengths will minimize the risks of terrorist acts. It will also increase the ability of customs, border and security services to curb smuggling traffic to Russia, ”said Kirill Makarov, deputy general director for intelligence and information systems at RTI JSC.

It is worth noting that the complex being created is characterized by a higher resolution, in comparison with the inspection systems operating in the centimeter wavelength range."


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"On the other hand, the development of microwave photonics technology and its application in radar are potential subversive technologies in related fields, which will bring changes to radar and other electronic equipment technologies and forms. And China Electric Power Research Institute 14 has now completed the phased research and developed a millimeter wave large dynamic wideband radar. Compared with the internationally reported microwave photon radar prototype, the reception dynamics are increased by 4 times, and the resolution is increased by 100 times. "


Long way up the mirror
Dec 6, 2017
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The Vega concern of the Ruselectronics holding (part of the Rostec State Corporation) has completed tests of a prototype demonstrator of an active phased antenna array based on radio photonics (ROFAR).


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Feb 12, 2010
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Still curious whether this ROFAR is a AESA but instead of phase shifter it use a True time delay for beam steering.

Implementation of true time delay beamsteering involves use of optic fiber and laser, where waveform is transmitted via laser to each TRM which later convert it to EM wave and amplified it as what AESA usually did. Or it's something else entirely.

My search however doesnt really yield anything while searching in forums.. well unproductive to say.


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Jan 2, 2021
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Cryogenic Sapphire Oscillator - 'The Sapphire Clock' | Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing | University of Adelaide

The culmination of 20 years of leading-edge fundamental research, combined with cutting-edge engineering, has led to a disruptive technology that is now revolutionizing a vital Australian defence asset. The Sapphire Clock offers a 1000-fold improvement in timing precision, which delivers an improved capability for Australian Defence to identify threats to Australia using the Jindalee Over-The-Horizon Radar Network.

The Cryogenic Sapphire Oscillator has a 5 cm cylinder-shaped sapphire crystal that is cooled to about -267 °C, or about 5 or 6 degrees above absolute zero. At this temperature, the microwave energy lost in the sapphire crystal is the lowest of any substance on Earth. Microwave radiation is injected into the sapphire crystal and propagates around the circumference of the crystal (just inside the surface). The way the microwave radiation moves around the crystal is called a “Whispering Gallery”. Lord Rayleigh first discovered this concept in 1878 when he could hear someone whispering far away on the other side of the church dome at St Paul’s Cathedral.

There is one particular frequency that will excite the natural resonance of the sapphire crystal – this corresponds to the signal that reinforces itself after one round trip around the crystal surface. A good analogy might be to imagine hitting a bell and using its regular oscillations to count time. The losses in sapphire are so low that if it were a conventional bell then it would keep ringing for millions of years. However, in the sapphire crystal the resonant frequency is so high—10 billion cycles per second—that the electromagnetic signal rings only for a hundred milliseconds."

Heard that KRET was also designing an airborne photonic crystal which I do not know if it was sapphire as well. But I guess it makes sense why that company has interests in cryogenic cooling КРЭТ провел «круглый стол», посвященный концепции развития технологий криоэлектроники (kret.com)

"Within the framework of the meeting, industry experts reviewed the report "On the concept of development of cryoelectronics technologies", discussed the conditions for improving electric propulsion systems for air and sea transport, the state and prospects for the development of the production of electronic component base and converter technology with cryogenic cooling.

Representatives of enterprises - end users of the products being developed took part in the meeting. They stressed their readiness to take part in the testing of experimental samples.

Nikolay Kolesov, General Director of KRET JSC, Chairman of the Novgorod and Mariysk branches of the Union of Mechanical Engineers of Russia, emphasized the importance of the work of industry expert platforms that allow specialized experts to exchange experience, substantively consider key issues of their work, and jointly develop an optimal development strategy."


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Jan 2, 2021
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credit to LMFS for news source

На Чукотке к 2030 году построят радиолокационную станцию "Яхрома" - Армия и ОПК - ТАСС (tass.ru)

"MOSCOW, January 12. / TASS /. The newest radar station (radar) "Yakhroma", which will be included in the missile attack warning system (SPRN), will be built by 2030 in the Chukchi Sea region. A source in the military-industrial complex told TASS about it.

"By 2030, it is planned to build the Yakhroma radar station in the Chukchi Sea region. The station will operate fully automatically, without the constant presence of people at the facility," he said.

At the end of December 2020, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, during the final collegium of the military department, announced that in 2021 the Ministry of Defense is to begin work on the construction of the Yakhroma radar in Sevastopol.

A source in the military-industrial complex then told TASS that the Yakhroma radar station has no analogues. The station will operate in four bands: meter, centimeter, decimeter and millimeter, the station will have a view of 270 degrees."

To date, the Russian early warning system consists of two echelons: a space one, which currently includes four Tundra satellites, and a ground one, consisting of a network of Voronezh-type stations, covering all missile-hazardous directions with its radar field. The main purpose of the system is to detect and escort ballistic missiles fired at the territory of the Russian Federation or its allies as soon as possible.

meter 30-300mhz, decimeter 300mhz-3ghz, centimeter 3-30ghz, millimeter 30-300ghz. Seeing the construction dates and the frequency these radars will operate in sound like ground photonic radars if I was to take a lucky guess.


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Dec 6, 2017
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FPI's radio optical AESA demonstrator model on display.



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Jan 2, 2021
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So RTI, KRET,VEGA and i suppose FPI have prototypes, and we finally have an appearance of the antennas which are said to be a little thicker than paint and lacquer when applied. Intriguing appearance thanks for the very amazing source, it sucks i cant put heart eyes right now on phone.

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