Leveraging the recent breakthroughs in manufacturing of ultrafast photonics devices such as PIN-PD or UTC-PD, and in the drastic improvement in cost and performance of ASE, we propose to transform our commercial high ENR noise sources, currently operated under 110 GHz, into an integrated noise diode chip operating in sub-mmWave/THz. The proposed noise diode chip is an ideal source to calibrate microwave components and systems in passive remote sensing. The proposed noise diode chip, fabricated using photonic integrated circuit technology, integrates an ASE source and an UTC-PD and can produce noise with ENR> 40 dB at 100 GHz or 15 dB at 1 THz In phase I, we will build a simulation model and a benchtop prototype operating from 100GHz to 200GHz to demonstrate the proposed concept. The simulation will guide the design of the noise diode chip for development in Phase II. Success in this program will significantly reduce mission cost, size, weight, power and increase performance of future telecommunication and radar sensor in NASA applications.
Passive and active microwave remote sensing is a powerful technique frequently used in NASA earth and planetary science, and astronomy. In order to calibrate the microwave components and system in the ground, a noise source is important to simulate the background. The sub-mmWave/THz noise source can be used in systems sensing the clouds and upper atmospheric aerosols.
The noise source can be embedded in testbeds of military microwave systems to act as a background and interference. In such testbeds, the adjustable ENR can evaluate the ability of the system in a complex environment.