Free Space Optical communication in the military environment

Authors
Casey, Charles
Subjects
Free Space Optics
FSO
Over the Air Light Communication
OTALC
Laser Communication
Optical Communication
Battlefield Communication
Military Communication
Tactical Communication
Advisors
Singh, Gurminder
Ateshian, Peter
Date of Issue
2014-09
Date
Sep-14
Publisher
Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Free Space Optical (FSO) communications use modulated collimated light energy, usually in the form of an infrared (IR) laser, to transmit data. This affords FSO many appealing qualities such as a very high bandwidth capability, a high level of security through a low probability of detection (LPD) and a low probability of intercept (LPI), and a signal that is impervious to radio frequency (RF) interference or regulation. Military communications require broadband capabilities at the highest level of security in an incredibly dense RF operating environment. The bandwidth and security qualities of FSO make it an attractive technology for military communications. However, a strict line of sight (LOS) requirement and link attenuation in poor atmospheric conditions limit its application. Several companies are developing and implementing FSO communication solutions worldwide in response to a demand for broadband connectivity without RF interference at a relatively low price point. Recent advances in hybrid FSO-RF systems have improved performance in all atmospheric conditions. This research conducts a survey of the current state of FSO communications and analyzes its suitability as a military communication solution. The findings indicate further research, development, and link performance improvement is required before actual implementation of FSO communications can occur.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
Computer Science
Organization
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
Format
Citation
Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.