Military Embedded Systems

Sandia National Laboratories, Rockwell Collins make it to DARPA Mesodynamic program phase 3


August 05, 2014

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories and Rockwell Collins are exploring if light-to-sound such as when lightning strikes then thunder follows can be harnessed in optical fibers or waveguides the size of a human. The team is performing the work under the DARPA Mesodynamic Architectures program, for which they have just been selected for Phase 3.

The program looks to research light-to-sound conversion in ultra-small optical waveguides and develop future system capabilities beyond those attainable with current technology. The technologies enable secure communication, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities (ISR) in small, low-cost packages.

During Phases 1 and 2, the team showed a capability to perform radio frequency filtering in components 10,000 times smaller than those in use today. This program aims to reduce the size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) for communication systems and provide the opportunity to add new capabilities such as networking, electronic warfare, and advanced waveforms without increasing the volume of existing solutions.

In Phase 3, the team will look to complete a demonstration showing this filtering approach can be achieved in a high-performance radio.

Sandia National Laboratories is fabricating the nano-scale waveguide devices and Rockwell Collins will demonstrate their performance by integrating the capability into Department of Defense (DoD) products.


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