Retro-transmitting Omni-Bidirectional On-the-move Laser-Illuminated Non-line-of-sight Optical Communication System

Period of Performance: 03/14/2013 - 09/14/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physical Optics Corp.
1845 West 205th Street Array
Torrance, CA 90501
Principal Investigator


To address the Army s need for an optical communication system that is suitable for the teleoperation of unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Retro-transmitting Omni-Bidirectional On-the-move Non-line-of-sight Optical Communication (ROBOLINC) system. This system is based on non-line-of-sight diffused infrared light detection via a retro-transmitting omni-bidirectional transceiver consisting of a multiaperture superposition compound-eye sensor with a high-speed IR laser diode array, and a multispectral omnidirectional camera-based laser interrogator consisting of a 360-degree omnidirectional optics, a visible/near IR/shortwave IR CMOS imaging sensor, a lightweight-mirror fast scanning telescope, a multitarget video tracker, and eye-safe laser with high sensitivity detection. These innovations allow the system to meet the Army s requirements on bandwidth, frame rate, range, day/night environment, SWaP, and on-the-move operation. In Phase I, POC will develop the ROBOLINC system design, investigate system components, and demonstrate ROBOLINC s feasibility by testing a laboratory breadboard setup. In Phase II, POC plans to finalize the design and implement into a full prototype system which will be tested and demonstrated for controlling a robot in a realistic outdoor environment.