Multibeam Optical Head for Satellite Laser Communications
Department of Defense
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Small Business Information
BOULDER NONLINEAR SYSTEMS, INC.
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107, Lafayette, CO, 80026
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractBoulder Nonlinear Systems, Inc. (BNS) proposes to use its expertise in liquid crystal optical phased arrays (OPAs) and spatial light modulators (SLMs) to investigate a novel optical head for space-based multibeam laser communications. The primary focus ofthe proposed effort will be to establish the feasibility of using a liquid crystal beam steering device in place of a gimbaled mirror to produce multiple beams for satellite communication links. The principle question regarding the feasibility of asatellite-based liquid crystal multibeam optical head is whether the liquid crystal modulator can withstand the radiation levels that satellite-borne devices are subjected to. During the proposed Phase I feasibility study we will investigate the radiationsurvivability of a liquid crystal spatial light modulator The technology proposed here offers the potential for improvements in the performance of free space optical communications links. The ability to address multiple nodes provides redundancy toensure transmission and provides the broadcast advantage of multiple coverage with less likelihood of interference or intercept than RF. Possible commercial applications include the use of this technology for civilian satellite laser communications andfree space optical links in general.
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