Environmentally Adaptive Free-Space Optical Communication

Physical Sciences Inc has been awarded a research contract from the US Army to develop an adaptive free-space optical communication system, capable of maintaining low bit error rate (~ 10-9) over long ranges (> 20 km) by correcting for atmospheric and other environmental factors while operating at eye-safe power levels.

PSI’s concept uses three adaptive systems to optimize performance in the presence of platform motion, varying optical scattering/absorption, and atmospheric turbulence. Our common-axis optical transceiver provides high optical throughput while minimizing size and weight. Using PSI’s advanced adaptive optics model, combined with design and hardware experience, will result in a high-performance free-space optical system that is readily adaptable for real-world conditions.

The adaptive free-space optical communication system will provide secure, high data rate communications over long ranges through difficult atmospheric conditions. The method of wavefront sensing offers higher spatial resolution and dynamic range compared to more commonly used Shack-Hartmann sensors. Development of this technology may prove beneficial for earth-based telescope and high-energy laser systems in need of high fidelity wavefront control.

For more information, contact:

Dr. David Sonnenfroh
Area Manager, Atmospheric Sciences

Physical Sciences Inc.
Telephone: (978) 689-0003