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Proceedings Article

Free space optical communications: coming of age

[+] Author Affiliations
Larry B. Stotts

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Brian Stadler

Air Force Research Lab.

Gary Lee

Lutronix

Proc. SPIE 6951, Atmospheric Propagation V, 69510W (April 18, 2008); doi:10.1117/12.783798
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From Conference Volume 6951

  • Atmospheric Propagation V
  • G. Charmaine Gilbreath; Linda M. Wasiczko
  • Orlando, FL | March 16, 2008

abstract

Information superiority, where for the military or business, is the decisive advantage of the 21st Century. While business enjoys the information advantage of robust, high-bandwidth fiber optic connectivity that heavily leverages installed commercial infrastructure and service providers, mobile military forces need the wireless equivalent to leverage that advantage. In other words, an ability to deploy anywhere on the globe and maintain a robust, reliable communications and connectivity infrastructure, equivalent to that enjoyed by a CONUS commercial user, will provide US forces with information superiority. Assured high-data-rate connectivity to the tactical user is the biggest gap in developing and truly exploiting the potential of the information superiority weapon. Though information superiority is much discussed and its potential is well understood, a robust communications network available to the lowest military echelons is not yet an integral part of the force structure, although high data rate RF communications relays, e.g., Tactical Common Data Link, and low data SATCOM, e.g, Ku Spread Spectrum, are deployed and used by the military. This may change with recent advances in laser communications technologies created by the fiber optic communications revolution. This paper will provide a high level overview of the various laser communications programs conducted over the last 30 plus years, and proposed efforts to get these systems finally deployed.

© (2008) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Citation

Larry B. Stotts ; Brian Stadler and Gary Lee
"Free space optical communications: coming of age", Proc. SPIE 6951, Atmospheric Propagation V, 69510W (April 18, 2008); doi:10.1117/12.783798; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.783798


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