W-Band Photonic Pulse Compression Radar with Dual Transmission Mode Beamforming

Bohao Liu, Suparna Seshadri, Jhih Min Wun, Nathan P. O'Malley, Daniel E. Leaird, Nan Wei Chen, Jin Wei Shi, Andrew M. Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Millimeter wave (MMW) sensing systems have potential for enhanced range and angular resolution in comparison to lower radio frequencies. This article employs photonic-assisted radio-frequency arbitrary waveform generation to implement a high-bandwidth multi-target MMW radar. The presented sensing system operates in the W-band using chirped RF signals, with spectra between 80 and 95 GHz at the 10 dB points. We implement sum- and difference-mode beamforming using a two element transmitter array to perform azimuth angle sensing in addition to target ranging. Photonics-based waveform generation with programmable optical pulse shapers provides for incorporation of approximately uniform phase shifts across the entire bandwidth, which in turn enables control of the far-field interference patterns of the broadband waveforms. Our approach has analogies with monopulse tracking radar techniques, in which target angle information is revealed through sum- and difference-mode processing of the receiving antennae, but with the dual-mode processing implemented at the transmitter side via photonic radio-frequency arbitrary waveform generation. Experiments with a single target demonstrate unambiguous sensing of target angle with an estimated root-mean-square error of 0.18^\circ over a \pm 4^\circ angular range. We also demonstrate independent sensing of the angles of two targets that are resolved in range.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9265256
Pages (from-to)1619-1628
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2021


  • Frequency-to-time mapping
  • RF photonics
  • W-band
  • microwave photonics
  • millimeter wave sensing
  • monopulse reception
  • optical pulse shaping
  • photonic radar
  • photonic-assisted arbitrary waveform generation
  • sum and difference beamforming


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