Engineers from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL; Laurel, MD) have demonstrated a high-bandwidth free-space optical (FSO) communications system between two moving ships, proving operational utility of FSO technology in the maritime environment.

Juan Juarez, the technical lead for the team developing the technology, said APL is the first organization to successfully operate such a high-capacity optical communications capability -- up to 10 Gbit/s -- on the move, on board ships at sea, and in challenging near-shore environments.

"We demonstrated bandwidths that were several orders of magnitude higher than all current radio-frequency [RF] communications capability on Navy vessels, and at longer ranges than previously demonstrated FSO technology for maritime applications," Juarez says. "This is the equivalent to having up to 2000 users simultaneously watching high-definition video streams across the optical link."


Author: AOLab
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