Much of the platform technology for AOptix Communication products initially was developed for advanced defense applications. Through this work, AOptix achieved significant technology breakthroughs that now enable AOptix to support a broad range of commercial applications.
Project FOENEX—demonstrating wireless ad hoc networks, air-to-air and air-to-ground
AOptix is a partner in Project FOENEX (Free-Space Optical Experimental Network Experiment) with Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL) and L-3 Communications. The results of Project FOENEX were presented August 14, 2012 at SPIE San Diego by Dr. Richard Ridgway of DARPA who is the project sponsor, as described in this excerpt:
DARPA has undertaken the development of a 10 Gb/s 1550 nm free-space optical communications link that works in conjunction with 270 Mb/s 15 GHz Common Data Link and a 100 Gb/s network router to form a hybrid optical/RF communications link. The free-space optical link uses adaptive optics to reduce atmospheric-turbulence-induced optical phase aberrations and increase the light into a single-mode optical fiber at the receiver. When used in conjunction with a 10 Gb/s optical modem and optical automatic gain control the optical link is shown to achieve a high dynamic range.
AOptix developed and manufactured the FSO terminal and the Pointing, Acquisition, and Tracking software and systems necessary to seamlessly and rapidly form an optical link between two moving platforms. AOptix enables rapid optical and high speed tracking as well as correction for atmospheric disturbance that previously have limited FSO in tracking, distance and data rates.
AOptix views this project as having significant implications beyond defense applications to a wide range of potential commercial uses. Essentially, any combination of moving terrestrial and airborne vessels now can communicate through a wireless ad hoc network opening up numerous possibilities for wide distribution of high bandwidth media content.