U.S. Navy looks at free-space laser communications to transmit wireless data to users 6 miles away

U.S. Navy communications experts are looking for companies that can develop laser communications systems that can maintain communications links between fixed or mobile laser transmitters and receivers.
Officials at the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC-Atlantic) in South Carolina released a request for information for the Free Space Optical Communications program last week.
Free space optical communication uses a light source (usually a laser) propagating in free space to transmit wireless data for telecommunication or computer networking. Free space refers to the sky, space, vacuum or similar space without the use of solid objects such as fiber optic cables.
Naval researchers want at least Level 4 tactical free-space optical communications technology information for the technology, which describes components that are assembled and tested together in a lab.
Technologies of interest include active pointing and tracking systems for maintaining links in dynamic environments. Tactical free-space optical communication systems of interest include fixed point-to-point transmitters and receivers that can be adapted for active pointing and tracking systems.
Naval researchers are looking for free-space optical communications solutions that support multiple access from distributed end-users through automated network management and MIMO tactical free-space optical communications or non-targeting through relay or retransmission Line tactical free space optical communications.
A tactical free-space optical communication system should be able to establish non-line-of-sight links via relay or retransmission; includes active pointing and tracking systems and automated network management, and has been demonstrated in the lab.

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