Demonstration of a microwave ADC and DAC Digital Optical Harness proof of concept for remote architecture
The first demonstration of an optical digital harness to connect remote microwave data converters to a central data processing unit, like a FPGA, replacing copper coax cables with optical fibers. With fiber, sample data, control signals, synchronization signal and reference clocks are routed over significantly longer distances, reducing weight and increasing data density compare to coax cable. This approach can be particularly advantageous in remote multi-data converters or phased array systems.
White paper - New Optical Link Provides Complete Microwave Data Converter Interface Ensuring System-Wide Determinism
Imagine if it was possible to build multi-channel microwave radio systems leveraging optical rather than copper interconnects. Several benefits of this paradigm shift seem likely to follow including:
• Streaming sample, control & configuration data, as well as reference clock and synchronization signals via fiber simplifies radio front-end design, signal distribution whilst simultaneously reducing cable mass
• Eliminating copper signal wiring in future radio designs offers increased architectural freedom and flexibility whilst reducing crosstalk and inter-channel interference for better performance.
• The optical concept substantiates a valuable separation of front-end analog design from back-end digital signal processing heralding the arrival of fully digital antennas with enhanced operation arising from advanced electronic beam steering.