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The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the Center author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Center Overview

Electronic-Photonic Integrated Circuits for Aerospace (EPICA) seeks to establish and improve the functionality and robustness of key enabling semiconductor technologies for operation in harsh environments in the atmosphere and outer space. EPICA’s objective is to enable the use of increasingly sophisticated integrated electronics and photonics in communications and sensing applications in aerospace platforms.

Integrated photonics have become a key enabling technology in many commercial, defense, and scientific applications such as fiber communications, data centers, radio frequency analog links, quantum computing, and communications and sensing. As human activities in space expand, EPICA’s efforts to enable essential communications, climate monitoring, research, and exploration will become increasingly important. In addition, EPICA will advance U.S.-based capabilities in the design and manufacture of integrated electronics and photonics, a key strategic goal of the U.S. government and U.S. industry.

Integrated photonics technologies are gaining extensive use in fiber communication systems. Indeed, the combination of photonics and electronics now available creates new opportunities to improve essential services such as internet availability and reliability, environmental sensing, and security.

EPICA researchers on components, systems, and aerospace collaborate with member companies and government agencies to advance knowledge of environmental considerations and create innovative components and architectures to meet the unique reliability and performance requirements of aerospace applications.

The EPICA team is also engaging with and building a diverse workforce to support all facets of integrated semiconductor devices, advanced photonics, electronics and optical science and systems. This includes recruitment and mentoring programs designed to increase the representation and success of students from groups historically underrepresented in this field. The active involvement of undergraduate and graduate students in all aspects of the research is a key element of EPICA.

Universities

  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of Central Florida
  • Vanderbilt University
View Center Website

Center Personnel

Stephen E Ralph
Center Director
(404) 894-5268
stephen.ralph@ece.gatech.edu

Robert Reed
Vanderbilt University Site Lead
(615) 343-2702
robert.reed@vanderbilt.edu

Peter J Delfyett
Univ. of Central FL Site Lead
(407) 823-6812
delfyett@creol.ucf.edu

Research Focus

EPICA designs architectures for advanced electronic-photonic integrated semiconductor circuits and systems and validates their performance and reliability. The focus is on investigating the reliability of these devices and systems operating in extreme environments such as space.

EPICA has three major research areas:

  • Assessment, understanding, and development of robust integrated photonic hardware for reliable operation under extreme-environment conditions, primarily radiation and temperature extremes.

  • Development of components and architectures using system-level methods and tools including machine learning to extract maximum advantage of integrated photonic systems for aerospace platforms.

  • Definition of flight hardware and mission architectures for subsequent flight demonstration.

Awards