Free space optical technology has been commercially available for decades, but has problems with fog, limiting its use. So AOptix packages optics with millimeter wave radio (which doesn’t work in rain), to provide carrier-grade availability of up to 99.999 percent (which translates into no more than 5.26 minutes of down time per year).
AOptix says its Intellimax ULL3000, which integrates both radio and optical transmitters, offers six times more channel capacity than microwave technology and two times more distance than millimeter wave technology at speeds 33 percent faster than fiber based technology.
AOptix Intellimax says the ULL3000 also supports latency 50 percent lower than fiber-based networks, at distances up to 10 km, irrespective of weather.
Now, in commercial applications, new tracking technology enables wireless communications equipment to be installed on any tower or structure while supporting up to ±3 degrees of twist and sway.
The technology has been successfully demonstrated under contract for the U.S. Department of Defense, enabling aircraft flying at high altitudes to transmit 10-80 Gbps of data error-free over hundreds of kilometers to air or ground platforms, Aoptix says.
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.
DARPA has undertaken the development of a 10 Gbps 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, AOptix says.