C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

NRL furthers hybrid RF/optical communications technology

25 January 2017

The US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is investigating and implementing smart decision algorithms for the creation of agile hybrid free space optic (FSO)/radio frequency (RF) systems, with an aim of merging the high data rate of FSO and the reliability of RF.

The purpose of combining these two different carriers is that they have different limitations and different benefits, Kristen Nock, a computer engineer with NRL, told IHS Jane's. Additionally, the hybrid system could benefit the ever-increasing need for higher data rates, more sensors, and more bandwidth.

"There is a continual need for increased raw link capacity in high-speed, point-to-point wireless communications for stationary or mobile platforms," Nock said.

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