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Requirements and challenges for tactical free-space Lasercomm

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7 Author(s)
Das, S. ; Office of Naval Res., Arlington, VA ; Henniger, H. ; Epple, B. ; Moore, C.I.
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Mobile free-space laser communications is the next frontier for net-centric connectivity, as bandwidth, spectrum and security issues drive its adoption as an adjunct to RF communications. However, key technology challenges must be addressed and mission requirements understood for it to emerge as a meaningful capability for dynamic tactical communications environments. We present a brief overview of the current military communication infrastructure and future needs, before highlighting terrestrial Lasercomm technology status and trends, and lessons learned from several experiments and field tests. Optical link service parameters and metrics are assessed in the context of available architecture and techniques, while the effectiveness of various technologies to mitigate atmospheric turbulence, poor weather and pointing/tracking inaccuracies is analyzed for improved reliability. Finally, the ramifications of cost and SWaP (size, weight and power), critical to tactical Lasercomm deployment, are considered in narrowing down these technology options.

Published in:

Military Communications Conference, 2008. MILCOM 2008. IEEE

Date of Conference:

16-19 Nov. 2008