High Bandwidth, Fast Tracking, Free-Space Communication Link for UAVs

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: F3361503M4103
Agency Tracking Number: 022-0768
Amount: $69,972.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
655 Aspen Ridge Drive, Lafayette, CO, 80026
DUNS: 149375479
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Narasimha Prasad
 Senior Research Scientist
 (303) 604-2000
Business Contact
 Hal Bagley
Title: VP
Phone: (303) 604-2000
Email: Hal@ctilidar.com
Research Institution
Coherent Technologies Inc. (CTI) proposes to develop a laser communication system (LCS) coupled with a high-speed pointing and tracking scheme for greater than 1 Gb/s data rate applications for missile defense flight tests. The LCS will provide eyesafeoperation with an engagement range greater than 10 miles between an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and ground based platforms. The pointing and tracking unit will be designed to reduce the probability of data link breakdown due to low visibility conditions.The approach will capitalize upon innovative scanner designs developed by CTI for military laser radar systems and the advancing scanning mirror technologies such as Micro-Opto-Electrical-Mechanical Systems (MOEMS). The baseline architecture uses a 1.55-mmtransmitter optimally coupled to micro-mirror assembly. Three potential configurations for tracking in a highly dynamic environment are envisaged. For completeness, system-level performance analyses will assess the cost effectiveness and field worthinessof competing optical source technologies besides laser diodes. The Phase I effort will generate system level signal-to-noise ratio assessments for 1.5 micron wavelength data link under various environmental conditions, (2) establish closed-loop pointingand tracking scheme for maximum link performance, and (3) develop a proof-of-principle prototype and execute risk reduction measurements to ensure technical and cost feasibility for Phase II field-worthy hardware implementation. Potential applicationsinclude ground-to-ground, ground-to-air, sea-to-air mobile communication systems for video broadcast, telecommunication applications, and other data intensive applications that do not rely on two fixed locations. The proposed system is anticipated toenhance troop communications and battlefield awareness and support search and rescue operations.

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

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