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A Chip-based Orbital Angular Momentum Receiver for Underwater Optical Communications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-21-C-0072
Agency Tracking Number: N192-126-0411
Amount: $999,993.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N192-126
Solicitation Number: 19.2
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-12-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-12-05
Small Business Information
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810-1111
United States
DUNS: 073800062
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Christopher Evans
 (978) 738-8159
Business Contact
 B. David Green
Phone: (978) 689-0003
Research Institution

In this program, Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) and Professor Eric. G. Johnson (Clemson University) will develop an integrated optical transceiver for underwater communication using orbital angular momentum (OAM) on a silicon-nitride photonics platform. A high-bandwidth underwater optical link is a critical need for underwater communications. An ideal underwater communications link should be compact and robust, capable of high bandwidths with low error-rates and crosstalk to establish a secure link over long distances. An optical communication system operating at visible wavelengths (having minimal water absorption) is an attractive solution as radio frequencies are unable to deeply penetrate water and acoustic systems are low-bandwidth. The large bandwidths and high directionality of laser-based systems are a promising alternative; however, Gaussian beam systems suffer from scattering due to turbidity, aberrations from turbulence, and other obstructions (e.g. bubbles). OAM modes have been shown to be more resilient to turbidity and turbulence than Gaussian beams, are also more secure, and can be spatially multiplexed for increased bandwidth. This effort will focus on developing an OAM transceiver head that can be incorporated into a optical communication link for multiplexing OAM states and transmitting them over distances >150 m.

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

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