Multi-Access Optical Communications Modules as Enabled by Revolutionary EO Scanner Technology

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Award Id:
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 09-043
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Vescent Photonics (Currently Vescent Photonics, Inc.)
4865 E. 41st Ave, Denver, CO, 80216
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Scott Davis
VP Technology
(303) 296-6766
Business Contact:
Scott Rommel
VP Operations
(303) 296-6766
Research Institution:
Vescent Photonics proposes to develop a new generation of ultra-compact, ultra low power free space optical (FSO) systems that will be suitable for deployment on a wide variety of military platforms, as required for new multi-access optical networks. These new devices are enabled by the combined development of revolutionary non-mechanical beamsteerers by Vescent, and state-of-the-art optical telecommunications technology. The proposed systems will be entirely electro-optic, provide unprecedented size weight and power, and be able to scan an entire wide angle (>90o) field of view (FOV) in less than a millisecond with analog resolution. This system will be designed to meet future persistent surveillance and situational awareness needs wherein high definition video capabilities are being extended to a greater number of mobile tactical platforms, e.g., MAVs, UAVs, etc., and relay this Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (AISR) to a GEO satellite or other ground or flight platform. Our approach circumvents the challenges of opto-mechanical scanners by utilizing new EO scanner technology, which will transmit high bandwidth optical signals to a target; a low bandwidth RF signal can be used to lock the transmit scanner to the target, thereby maintaining data-link integrity as the platforms move relative to one another. BENEFIT: The ultra-compact steerable FSO concept and hardware developed in this program has a wide range of relatively near-term and potentially low-cost military (tactical, theater and strategic) and other (surveillance/homeland security) applications. Tactical and surveillance adaptations would be the largest potential near-term markets. We believe that the ultra-compact steerable FSO approach could be readily and cost effectively adapted to fielding of compact laser radars, coded covert (free-space-optics) line-of-sight communications capabilities and serve as high-accuracy optical trackers for engaging tactical (rockets, mortars and artillery-RAM) targets; RAMs are currently major threats to the US and its allies in the context of theater and urban warfare. Outside of the military deployment, our ultra-compact FSO system can be instrumental in last-mile telecommunications environments in urban setting, for field-deployable high-definition video systems for newscasters and sports casters (e.g., high-def coverage of golf tournaments is currently and outstanding challenge), and a variety reconfigurable, low-cost, commercial high-bandwidth data links.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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