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Laser Communication

Laser communication in space

Laser communication at sea

Main features and benefits
  • Invisible
  • Eye safe
  • Light and compact
  • Licencefree
  • Data rates > 1 Gbit/s
  • No jamming

The future of data transfer is photonic. Laser-based communication can pack a lot more data and deliver the goods at far faster speeds than radio waves, and at tremendous bandwidths that require no compression. Successful tests in space, over land and under water attest to the viability of laser-light data transmission systems developed by Cassidian Optronics. Optical communication, with its ability to port data at gigabit speeds, is a boon for any application that relies on networkcentric operations.

Tap-proof and free of the constraints imposed by cables and radio frequency licenses, this form of optical communication can span very long distances indeed. A combination of incoherent transmission technology and point-topoint and point-to multi-point topologies enables networked communication among multiple transmitters and receiving terminals, and raises the availability bar to unprecedented heights.

Cassidian Optronics' offering encompasses everything from short- and medium-range stationary devices and fully stabilised equipment systems for mobile applications to underwater solutions and long-throw space applications. All products are compatible and may be networked for any civilian and military terrestrial, marine, submarine, airborne and space-borne scenario.

Command, control, intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities require reliable means of sharing data with remote units. Today's answer to this communication question is radio frequency technology. High-resolution detector systems, however, generate a deluge of data that cannot be transmitted in real time without some form of compression. What's more, limited frequency bands and antenna size impose severe constrictions on some of the potentially most effective applications, for example, mini drones.

RF technology, with its inability to transport vast streams of data, is fast approaching the point of diminishing returns. It is sure to be edged out by laser-based communication. The higher bandwidth and faster transmission rates will prevail wherever superior surveillance capabilities and immunity are at a premium.

Lasercom Systems/Technical Data

Lasercom systems have definitely arrived, as this brief recap of Cassidian Optronics' achievements attests:

Stationary
Our optical communication equipment's ability to transmit uncompressed HD data for border surveillance applications has proven its merits in the field. For civilian applications, there is no other way to blast through the data bottleneck and transcend the gigabit barrier.

Up/downlink
The world's only ground / GEO link is based on Cassidian technology that is part of our Zeiss legacy. Optical feeder links exploit licence-free bandwidth, thereby sparing licensed frequencies that can be gainfully employed for downlink broadcasts.

Mobile
Cassidian Optronics is known for its superior stabilised terrestrial, maritime and airborne platforms. The experience and insight gained in these projects has enabled us to develop optical communication systems that deliver reliable broadband performance in the air, on land and at sea.

Underwater
Today submarine communication is suboptimal, with a threshold not higher than the kbit / s range. Our technology has been proven to transmit data at mbit/s speeds, which opens up a whole new range of possibilities, for example, reconnaissance data sourced from unmanned underwater vehicles. Cassidian Optronics' optical underwater acquisition technology is patented.

Inter-satellite
Our optical subsystems have been tried, tested and verified in space with a com link that topped the 5 gbit / s mark across a distance exceeding 5,000 km.