Long-Wave Infrared Transceivers for High Speed Free Space Optical Communications in Adverse Weather Conditions

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI), in partnership with Thor Quantum Electronics (TQE) has been awarded a research program from the U.S. Navy to develop and demonstrate a high bandwidth free space optical (FSO) communications link using novel high bandwidth LWIR quantum cascade lasers (QCLs).

With the increasing demand on battlefield information transfer bandwidth, FSO links are emerging as a necessary alternative and/or addition to existing radio frequency and microwave systems. All platforms, from space to air to ground to the individual soldier, can benefit from the unique aspects of FSO links. In addition to higher bandwidth, FSO links also bring increased security because they are challenging to intercept and tap for eavesdropping. With recent advances in longwave-infrared (LWIR, 8–12 μm) source and detector technology, there is an opportunity to extend FSO communications to these longer wavelengths where reduced Rayleigh scattering lowers transmission losses.

Although the military will be the primary initial early adopters of this technology, it is anticipated that specialized commercial use will follow, where there is a specific need for a dedicated high-bandwidth communications network.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Joel Hensley
Vice President, Photonics
Physical Sciences Inc.
Telephone: (978) 689-0003