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The Air Force is among a group of Defense Department sponsors of the Joint Strike Fighter Enterprise Terminal (JETpack) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) program, a research project designed to demonstrate reasonably mature and producible technologies to solve this problem. Northrop Grumman is the lead contractor on the JETpack program. The company declined to comment on the project, citing sensitivities with customers.
Lockheed Martin, by contrast, has demonstrated the ability to use a new waveform developed by L-3 Communications called Chameleon for direct communications among F-22s and F-35s without the use of a gateway. Lockheed Martin demonstrated Chameleon during flight trials in December; officials say signal strength remained under the detection threshold for an anti-access environment and the waveform can be transmitted via L-band antennas already on both platforms and only used for operations now at test ranges.
“We successfully integrated an F-22 with a Rockwell Collins tactical radio for Link 16 transmit and receive capability, and two L-3 Communications devices to support encrypted and secure operations,” said Ron Bessire, vice president of Program and Technology Integration at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works®. “The rapid integration of this equipment enabled secure information sharing between stealth and legacy platforms and improved overall battlespace awareness.”
To reduce integration timelines, the Project Missouri team leveraged open systems architecture tools from the Air Force’s Common Mission Control Center and from the unmanned aerial systems command and control standard initiative (UCI) to complete hardware and software development in less than seven months, with integration and test taking less than 30 days. This included acquiring safety of flight and airworthiness approval for flight test. The team achieved up to a 60 percent reduction in the development, integration and test timelines.
originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Astr0
It's about damn time. That was always the thing that drove me up the wall. All this money for the F-22, and they had to develop a new platform (BACN), for them to even talk to anyone.
originally posted by: IamSirDrinksalot
I call BS on heaps of these threads and I am getting pretty sick of them in the aircraft forum.
“We’re talking data rates that can be 100 to 1,000 times or more greater than what you can get with [radio frequency] data links,” said Michael Perry, vice president of the laser-electric optic business unit in General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.'s reconnaissance systems group. The UAV maker is partnering with a German satellite company to demonstrate laser links between a Reaper remotely piloted aircraft and a satellite in geo-stationary orbit some 25,000 miles above the Earth.
The finite amount of radio spectrum available to the U.S. military has been an ongoing issue. At the same time, the demand for it is insatiable. The advent of unmanned aerial vehicles that need to send live, streaming video to bases around the world has driven the high demand, and forced the military to lease time on commercial satellites. The demand is likely to increase as higher resolution, next-generation sensors that require more bandwidth proliferate in the coming years.
The overcrowded airwaves are also prone to interference, or “fratricide” as radio engineers like to call it. Adversaries can also try to intercept messages or jam signals.
Laser communications do not use any of the radio spectrum. And, advocates point out, it is inherently protected. To disrupt a transmission, an enemy would have to be able to detect the narrow beam and find a way to put an object in front of it. To actually intercept data, he would have to place a receiver in its path.
In its simplest form, the energy is transmitted in pulses with the “1” digit being a pulse and the “0” a gap. But modulating the timing can create more sophisticated pulses.
Perry described it as: “Morse code but at ridiculously high rates.”
How high? Two gigabytes per second and upwards of 20 gigabytes per second are possible, he said.
Ive worked in Defence Procurement for years
Submarine communications have always been problematic, largely because radio waves are unable to penetrate sea water. As a result, links between submarines and other warships or airplanes have had to rely on unconventional means such as trailing wires or towed buoys – compromising the ability of a submarine to remain stealthy.
However, blue and blue-green laser wavelengths penetrate sea water very effectively, and this technology has long been seen as a way to improve submarine communications. One of the key technological stumbling blocks has been the laser transmitter. To produce the high-energy blue beams required for effective communication has previously required a Raman-shifted XeCl excimer laser, or a frequency-doubled Ti: sapphire source, both of which are regarded as too bulky, inefficient and impractical for the application.
But now that DARPA has developed blue solid-state lasers and cesium atomic line filters (ALFs) to produce emission at 455 nm and 459 nm, the Agency feels that the key component technologies are sufficiently advanced to feature in an operational defense system.
Of its “SEADEEP” system, QinetiQ claims that the approach has already “demonstrated communications through the air-water interface equivalent to data rates available with wideband Internet communications at home”. Such speeds would be hundreds to thousands of times faster than conventional submarine communications at depth, the company adds.
The verification results show that this technology is suitable not only for space applications but also for applications in the troposphere. After a brief description of the Laser Communication Terminal (LCT) for space applications, the paper consequently discusses the future utilization of satellite-based optical data links for Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) operations of High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). It is shown that the use of optical frequencies is the only logical consequence of an ever-increasing demand for bandwidth. In terms of Network Centric Warfare it is highly recommended that Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) of the future should incorporate that technology which allows almost unlimited bandwidth.
AOA Xinetics has developed compact atmospheric compensation systems for horizontal path laser communications, including both ground based and airborne implementations. We have also developed and demonstrated several stochastic adaptive optics approaches that address the problems of severe turbulence along the beam path.
originally posted by: mbkennel
a reply to: Astr0
And then one may wonder "gee, how do they know where to point the laser if the sub is supposed to be hiding".
mirror mirror on the wall, whose phase conjugate waveform nonlinearly self amplifies the most of them all?
This stuff is the closest to Star Trek technology I've ever seen in the open.
Researchers representing four research disciplines at the Naval Research Laboratory received the Lt. Gen. Gordon T. Gould, Jr. MILCOM 2010 award for Best Classified Paper for their paper entitled "Lasercom for Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Using a Modulating Retro-Reflector." The award is named for Lt. Gen Gordon T. Gould, Jr., a distinguished Air Force officer who held the position as Director of the Defense Communications Agency from 1971-1974.
The project leader, Dr. Peter Goetz, accepted the award at the Technical Chairman's Awards Banquet of the MILCOM 2010 conference. Wade Freeman with the Dakota UAV and NRL MRR lasercom wingpods.
The NRL team designed and built free-space laser communication (lasercom) terminals for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) using modulating retro-reflector (MRR) technology. MRRs enable the use of lasercom on platforms which are too small to carry a conventional lasercom terminal, or which would otherwise be incapable of achieving the pointing accuracy required for conventional lasercom.
The research team designed and built MRR lasercom terminals that were flown and demonstrated on a Dakota UAV as wing-pods and subsequently tested on a smaller UAV. A bi-directional lasercom ethernet link was established, and live video and data files were transferred.