AgileBeam Free-Space Optical Terminal for RF Denied Operations
Navy SBIR FY2018.1


Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-027
Topic Title: AgileBeam Free-Space Optical Terminal for RF Denied Operations
Proposal No.: N181-027-0239
Firm: SA Photonics, Inc.
120 Knowles Dr.
Los Gatos, California 95032
Contact: Dave Pechner
Phone: (408) 376-0989
Web Site: http://www.saphotonics.com
Abstract: Free-Space Optical (FSO) communication systems have numerous advantages over traditional RF based wireless systems including high data rates, long link distances, extremely low probability of interception and detection, and the ability to operate in RF denied environments with complete resistance to jamming. Additionally, compared to RF systems, FSO systems have very low Size, Weight and Power (SWaP). These advantages are often viewed to be hampered by the challenges of operating through the atmosphere, which creates scintillation and absorption that can disrupt the communication link. To address these issues, SA Photonics has developed innovative techniques that provide robust and reliable communication through a wide variety of atmospheric conditions, while maintaining a simple and low-cost system architecture. There are currently no FSO systems in use today on airborne platforms, mainly due to the need to use large and expensive stabilized gimbals. SA Photonicsâ?T AgileBeam FSO system includes internal optical beam stabilization that allows the terminal to be directly attached to the aircraft, greatly reducing the cost to deploy and allowing use even on small UAVs. With the resulting compact size and robust and reliable performance, AgileBeam promises to enable widespread transition to the warfighter.
Benefits: The AgileBeam system will provide a low-cost communication system that is immune to RF emissions, and has zero RF emissions allowing use during EMCON conditions. AgileBeamâ?Ts integrated beam stabilization system allows the system to be directly mounted to an aircraft, eliminating the need for an expensive and large stabilized gimbal. Lastly, AgileBeamâ?Ts conformal aperture will allow integration into aircraft fuselage, minimizing aero-optic effects and allowing wide-spread adoption of this essential technology.

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