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Lightweight Inter-Nanosatellite Communications System

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Physical Optics Corporation
Electro-Optics Systems Division 1845 West 205th Street Torrance, CA 90501-1510
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: Lightweight Inter-Nanosatellite Communications System
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Contract: W9113M-12-C-0033
Award Amount: $1,049,970.00


To address the Army's need for nanosatellite laser communication systems, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) has developed a Lightweight Inter-Nanosatellite Communications (LINC) system. This system is based on unique integration of a new optical tracking scheme, with a common optical telescope antenna for the transmitter and receiver, and implementation of computer-on-module electronics. The innovation in using state-of-the-art optoelectronic components, MEMS mirrors, and lightweight telescopes for pointing and tracking will enable the system to achieve extremely low SWaP (<430 cm^3,<0.5 kg, ~8 W peak power for a 10 min/hr duty cycle), high intersatellite communication rates (>2 Gbps), low bit error rate (<10^-6), and highly accurate tracking, to communicate with fore and aft satellites based on a 3-kg SMDC-ONE nanosatellite in a simple 10-20 satellite ring constellation, addressing the SMDC Responsive Space program requirements for intersatellite lasercom at a distance of 3600 km. In Phase I, POC successfully demonstrated LINC feasibility by conducting technical analysis and simulation and initially tested a proof-of-concept prototype with an optical link sustaining>9.5 Gbps data throughput. In Phase II, POC plans to design an initial laser nanosatellite communication system, and fabricate its prototype for initial testing and transition to a complete nanosatellite laser communication system.

Principal Investigator:

Tin M. Aye
Technology Vice President
(310) 320-3088

Business Contact:

Gordon Drew
Chief Financial Officer
(310) 320-3088
Small Business Information at Submission:

Physical Optics Corporation
Electro-Optics Systems Division 1845 West 205th Street Torrance, CA -

EIN/Tax ID: 330118051
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No