The cross-fertilization between photonics and microwave systems is setting new paradigms in radio technologies, promising improved performance and new applications, with strong benefits for communication systems broadly as well as for public safety specifically. In particular, the use of photonics in radar systems is leading to a new generation of multifunctional systems that can manage multiple simultaneous coherent radio signals at different frequencies, thus enabling multispectral imaging for advanced surveillance. In fact, thanks to its tenability and huge bandwidth, photonics matches the flexibility requirements urgently needed in future software-defined radar architectures. It also guarantees system compactness because a single shared transceiver can be used for multiband operations with the added potential of photonic integration.
Ghelfi, P., Laghezza, F., Scotti, F., Serafino, G., Pinna, S., Onori, D., ... Bogoni, A. (2015). Photonics in radar systems: RF Integration for state-of-the-art functionality. IEEE Microwave Magazine, 16(8), 74-83. https://doi.org/10.1109/MMM.2015.2441591