Gimbal-Free Wavelength-Division-Multiplexing Free Space Optical Communication (WDMFSO) for Ocean Surface Transceivers

Period of Performance: 11/07/2012 - 05/14/2013

$80K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Wavefront
7 Johnston Circle
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Lasercom, namely, free-space optical (FSO) communication, has many advantages over the traditional RF communication channels widely used in military communications. Some notable advantages of lasercom are no need for licensing for frequency allocation, immunity to radio frequency interference, and low probability of interception and detection. The biggest disadvantage of lasercom, however, is its requirement of point-to-point and line-of-the-sight configuration between optical transceivers. Pointing and tracking via gimbal systems as well as other mechanical tuning of orientation and pointing are often required. We propose an optical WDMFSO system with mature WDM system architecture, resulting in (i) NO gimbal, and (ii) NO pointing and tracking. During Phase I, we will design, fabricate and characterize infrared photo-detectors for application in the WDMFSO system. We will also experimentally prove the concept of the WDMFSO system at reduced distance scales within the laboratory. In Phase II, we will further optimize the photo-detector technology based on the feedback from Phase 1 experiments, and fully prototype and develop a complete WDMFSO system for field testing. During Phase III, we will manufacture and market the WDMFSO system as well as for our commercial medical device products.