Free space optic communication for Navy surface ship platforms
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Free Space Optics (FSO) technology is an alternative broadband technology, which provides fast, secure and reliable data transmission. The FSO systems are being used for commercial systems between fixed sites and are being considered for military systems because of their inherent benefits, which are security and high data rates. In military communications security is the first priority. The small divergence of the laser beam makes FSO systems more secure than the existing radio frequency (RF) based wireless systems, because it is highly difficult to detect and intercept a laser beam due to the nature of the laser and the small divergence angle of the transmitter. However, FSO implementation on mobile platforms such as ships is still challenging. This thesis analyzes the feasibility of deploying FSO system on navy surface ships. It discusses the FSO technology and the latest studies in maritime optical communication links. In addition, the benefits and challenges of FSO technology specific to this study are studied. The final section discusses the required systems to improve the performance of FSO systems on ships. The thesis concludes that FSO technology, while not ready for deployment, looks very promising for the near future.
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