DATERAC: Development and Applications of Exploratory Technologies for the Reconfiguration of Antennas and Microwave Devices

(Développement et Applications de Technologies Exploratoires pour la Reconfiguration des Antennes et Circuits micro-ondes)

The DATERAC project aims at developing 2 innovative solutions for microwave reconfigurable circuits and antennas for future communication systems both in the context of civilian or military applications: 5G and beyond, automotive radar, IoT, satellite constellations, etc. The first solution is based on the electrical control of semi-conductor junctions directly integrated in a substrate through localized doped areas. This offers great flexibility in terms of size and shape of the junctions and more generally in the reconfigurable devices conception. The second solution is based on the optical control of the state (amorphous or crystalline) of chalcogenide glasses driving to an important permittivity and resistivity change. The final objective is to combine both reconfiguration solutions to propose complex systems allowing to modify independently and simultaneously several characteristics (central frequency, bandwidth, radiation pattern, polarization, etc.).

To this end, DATERAC team with external partners will develop chalcogenide glass deposition on silicon substrate, characterize and optimize this material for microwave applications, develop optical feeding architectures, model the semi-conductor junctions, design, fabricate and measure reconfigurable circuits and antennas first using one of these 2 reconfiguration solutions and then combining both. This last part aims to propose more and more possibilities for the reconfiguration of advanced systems by minimizing their conception.

Two academic partners (IETR and Lab-STICC) are directly involved in DATERAC project. Two others academic ones (ISCR and GREMAN) and an industrial one (Thales OME LAS) will help them to complete it since the beginning. Since the end of 2021, another academic partner (FOTON Institute) has joined us and brings us its expertise in terms of laser sources and an access to the Nano-Rennes micro- and nano-fabrication platform. DATERAC is organized into 5 work packages:

  • WP0 deals with management, dissemination and results exploitation.
  • WP1 will focus on chalcogenide glasses deposition process and characterization.
  • In WP2, some reconfigurable filters and antennas will be developed using specific optical feeding networks.
  • Modelling of semi-conductor junctions and development of electrically reconfigurable devices will be made in WP3.
  • Finally, WP4 will propose to mix both control techniques (optical and electrical) through the development of multi-reconfiguration systems allowing the independent and simultaneous control of several characteristics.

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