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Free-space optical transceiver technology

Discover how non-mechanical beamforming technology benefits both avionic and aerospace applications.

Free-space optical communication (FSO) uses an optical carrier to establish a high-bandwidth, directional, and secure link between two points that are difficult to physically connect due to high costs, their position in remote locations, or security considerations.

Applications of free-space optical communication

Free-space optical transceivers are being used for ground applications such as LiFi and 5G. They also offer a solution for space and avionic communication such as:

  • satellite-to-satellite links: geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO) and low earth orbit (LEO)
  • satellite-to-ground links
  • airplane-to-ground links
  • drone networks

Free-space optical transceivers through integrated photonics

There are several possible technologies for the development of free-space optical transceivers. For their practical use in space applications, they need to be:

  • compact
  • low-power
  • ultra-reliable

Because of these considerations, integrated photonics is the most suitable technology. Combining all the necessary components in one integrated circuit and eliminating moving parts makes it possible to build an optical transceiver that’s robust enough to survive a launch and withstand extremely harsh environments during the complete lifetime of a project.

Want to develop your free-space optical transceiver with a non-mechanical beamformer in integrated photonics technology? Imec’s hybrid optical beamforming platform supplies you with all the building blocks. And our experts are ready to discuss your challenges.

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