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Low Cost Laser Communication Ground Terminal Network
Phone: (321) 978-0360
Phone: (407) 412-7611
Laser communications (lasercom), also referred to as optical communications, provides the capability to meet the growing needs of US Military applications requiring high bandwidth, high-availability, low-latency, survivable, and secure links. Better than gigabit (Gb) per second data rates are achievable by laser communication, and are suitable for voice over IP (VoIP), streaming data, streaming high- definition video, and large file transfer. A high level of security is achieved through low probability of detection (LPD) and low probability of intercept (LPI) inherent to laser transmissions. In addition, optical communication is unaffected by radio frequency (RF) interference, and not subject to government spectrum licensing requirements. Small, compact laser terminals allow for system integration into ground vehicles, aircraft, and spacecraft. Vision Engineering Solutions (Vision) proposes to deliver two Optical Ground Stations (OGS) to NIWC, as part of this Direct to Phase II SBIR program to support laser communication. One OGS will be part of a fixed site, and the other will be a transportable design. Both systems will be capable of day and night operations, communicating with satellites across Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO), and compensating for atmospheric turbulence. The top-level component of each OGS are the Pointing and Tracking System and the Optical Platform. These components will be controlled from a common rack mount computer system, designated the Sensor Control Computer. Vision’s development approach takes into account technical, schedule, and cost risks. As government and commercial operators increasingly seek to use laser communication in space systems, low cost Optical Ground Stations will be enabling elements of the overall communications architecture. Low cost and interoperability of the terminals will reduce the capital expenses associated with establishment of a geographically dispersed network necessary to serve a range of satellite orbits and assure access in the event of cloud cover or other weather. This SBIR will result in a final design for a ground terminal that meets the Government’s stated performance requirements and is suitable for integration in existing or future global ground station networks. As the next step toward an operational capability, performance of the OGSs will be demonstrated with a government satellite.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *