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Gimbal-less Free-Space Optical Communications Terminal with Photonic Integrated Circuits

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8649-23-P-0305
Agency Tracking Number: FX224-OCSO1-1289
Amount: $74,960.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: X224-OCSO1
Solicitation Number: X22.4
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-11-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-02-03
Small Business Information
15378 Avenue of Science Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92128-1111
United States
DUNS: 020817883
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Bert Vermeire
 (858) 332-0700
Business Contact
 David Strobel
Phone: (858) 332-0700
Research Institution

Space Micro and Stanford Research Institute (SRI) propose to drastically reduce SWAP-C of intersatellite free-space optical (FSO) communications (aka “Lasercom”) terminals using a magnetic levitated bearing with an optical phased array for planar beam expansion. Microrobots moving by magnetic levitation have been matured to TRL 6-7 by SRI. Vacuum operation has been demonstrated. Commercial Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) are maturing rapidly and are experiencing exponential growth reminiscent of the early days of silicon electronic ICs. Space Micro has previously developed and delivered free-space optical communications payloads for commercial space applications with advanced acquisition and tracking control. During phase I, we will perform the remaining system engineering to show how these technologies are combined to achieve an FSO terminal that does not require a heavy and expensive gimballed telescope.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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