Free-space Optical Communications
The novel liquid crystal technologies provided by BNS can reduce size and power of various components used for non-mechanical beam steering, focusing, and attenuation in free-space optical communications terminals.
Bringing New Capabilities to Free-space Optical Communications through Liquid Crystal Technologies
Free-space optical (FSO) communications are increasingly utilized for high bandwidth over-the-air datalinks, especially where data security or RF bandwidth availability are a prime concern. In FSO terminals, liquid crystal polarization gratings (LCPGs) enable non-mechanical coarse pointing, acquisition, and tracking. Additionally, LCPG lenses offer a means of dynamic focus control and an opportunity to replace thick refractive optics with thin diffractive counterparts. These technologies are especially beneficial in small satellite and aerial platforms due to their low mass and inertia-free beam control.
BNS’ high-speed liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) devices also provide benefits to FSO communications systems. Here, their high-resolution, dynamic phase control enables adaptive optics for transmitting through turbulent atmosphere and an additional means of encoding information on the carrier beam.
At BNS, we understand the complexities of developing new technologies. We constantly push the boundaries of our technologies so that our customers can do the same with theirs.
Dr. Janelle Shane
Senior Research Scientist