Photon Counting Solar-Blind Ultraviolet (UV) Communication System for Safe, Secure, Non-Line-Of-Sight Free-Space Data Links
Battlefield medicine has been a critical component of any successful military campaign since ancient times. A safe, secure, wireless, high data rate communication link is highly desirable for tactical battlefield casualty management. One promising solution is the free-space optical non-line-of-sight communication link, preferably in the solar-blind ultraviolet region where strong atmospheric absorption of sunlight creates a low background radiation regime at the Earths surface. Proposed is the Photon-Counting Integrated Circuit (PCIC) solar-blind photon detector, the most sensitive UV photodetector to provide unique photon-counting capability. Minimizing the UV optical power requirement of the proposed UV free-space data link leads directly to optimal radiation safety, highest communication security, and lowest system optical power consumption. During Phase I, we will design, fabricate and characterize a solar-blind PCIC photon-counting detector and demonstrate a solar-blind UV free-space data link. During Phase II, we plan to complete a robust high-speed free-space solar-blind non-line-of-sight UV digital communication system supporting multiple simultaneous data links. The prototype PCIC communication system will be fully tested and delivered for evaluation and demonstration at DoD laboratories. During Phase III, we will manufacture and market the PCIC solar-blind detector and data link as well as for our commercial medical device products.
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