The Future of Free Space Optics

It is little wonder that the concept of transmitting information across open air — free of wires, channels, or any other incumbent medium — is a tantalizing one. No longer confined to the realm of science fiction, the reality of today has constellations of satellites encircling the planet, pinging streams of data of all kinds to almost anywhere. While ground-based communications systems and low-flying UAVs continue to evolve, it’s when these optical systems rise above the troublesome atmosphere that they come into their own.

Before the telephone, early forays into free-space optical communications (FSOC) included a demonstration by Alexander Graham Bell of what he dubbed the “photophone.” Bell used beams of light to transmit voice conversations through the air, and although the photophone never translated into a commercial device, the principle was established.

Then the revolution came: The invention of the laser in the 1960s transformed FSOC. With the technology’s genesis in military applications, the ability to communicate over unknown terrain without fear of an enemy severing contact was quickly recognized. Since then, steady improvements in light sources, detectors, and optical components continue to extend the reach of FSOC networks.

Commercial telecommunications is a significant driver for LAN-to-LAN, 5G, mobile backhaul, and “last mile” applications. According to Malcolm Watson, a principal research engineer at AVoptics Ltd. (an optical technology SME based in Somerset, England, and Cwmbran, Wales), the major factors driving growth are faster and more secure data transfer, radio frequency (RF) spectrum crunch, and reduced energy consumption.

Read more at: https://www.photonics.com/Articles/Free-Space_Communications_Extends_Its_Reach/a65290

Fibre Optics Training On-Line or In-Person – Your Choice

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit many industries hard, and companies have had to adapt to new ways of working. For specialist training, classroom face-to-face teaching became impossible almost overnight as government restrictions began to bite. However, while certain courses with a large hands-on component remain effectively on hold, certain training options can still be implemented effectively online. Look at this customer feedback:

“Just wanted to pass our thanks over for the training you provided.  The training gave a great insight from the world of everything Fibre Optic and provided the team with all the fundamental elements to assist in delivering on our project in the near future. Your knowledge of the industry is clear for everyone to see, but delivered in a manner that was easy to follow.

Highly recommended!”

Here, in this magazine article, AVoptics share some of their experiences in formulating on online version of their Fibre Optic Fundamentals course and the planning involved.

 

Click here to read the article: HTN_MayJun21 AVoptics Training

AVLiteBox

AVoptics can provide your business with the AVLiteBox, a Microbiologically Secure Parcelb ox for Offices and Small Businesses. It is capable of deactivating Covid-19 on the surfaces of packages in 25 mins or less. This avoids any need to quarantine incoming parcels or document packs. Keep your employees safe and secure with this simple-to-use delivery box, conveniently located in your reception area. Contact adrian.harding@avoptics.com for details.

Clearly Connected – Your broken fibre connection restored.

AVoptics launches the AVliteSplice™ quick repair splice solution for fibre-optic systems in harsh environments

The simple-to-install nature of the AVliteSplice™ in-line mechanical splice provides significant savings in repair time. It does this by eliminating the need to remove and replace the damaged fibre-optic cable or harness from an aircraft or vehicle, enabling it to be repaired on the platform. Its lightweight design and the small number of constituent parts used in each splice means that reassembly is quick and easy. Reinstating the full mechanical integrity and high optical performance of the original installation can be completed in-situ in under 20 minutes.

AVliteSplice™ can also be used as a micro-connector and supports both multi-mode and single-mode applications. This unique time and cost-saving solution is designed to meet the increasingly urgent demands facing the global transport industry.

Click here for AVliteSplice product guide.

Click Here for Splice Test Report AV-0394 Rev 1

Avoptics forms Partnership with Scott Cables

We are delighted to announce a working partnership with Scott Cables to distribute a range of electrical products.

 

Based in the UK, Scott Cables specialise in providing Electrical Cable
Assembly solutions for harsh environment applications across a number markets
sectors. This enhances AVoptics existing range of Fibre-Optic cable assembly
offerings and enables us to provide a comprehensive solution to all your
requirements.

 

With a highly skilled and qualified team with all operators trained and
qualified to IPC standards Scott Cables has the capability to provide a wide
range of RF assemblies, both flexible and semi-rigid, Sealed Wiring harnesses
for power and data applications and electrical cables. Registered to ISO9001 and
AS9100 (rev D), Scott Cables is committed to providing exceptional quality,
delivery and customer focus.

Please feel free to contact the AVoptics Sales team for any electrical or fibre-optic cable requirements you may have; info@avotics.com 01935 471606

We look forward to developing our close working relationship with the Scott Cables team.

AVoptics secures support from DASA for innovative Optical Communications Technology

AVoptics is delighted to announce that it has secured funding and practical support from the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), a part of UK Ministry of Defence, to develop a free space optical (FSO) system which enables secure optical communications to remote platforms, such as Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs).

Small, unmanned platforms and remote distributed sensors require low SWaP for their communication systems, whilst simultaneously providing high data rate and enhanced security. Having a faster and more lightweight communications package to relay complex information (such as high-definition video imagery) allows smaller UAVs to fly longer and maintain information superiority.

Free Space Optical (FSO) networks provide greater bandwidths, lower probability of interception/detection and are free from spectrum licensing. However, despite these significant advantages, FSO usually requires stringent pointing and tracking (PAT).

The FSO system being developed by AVoptics attempts to overcome this issue through the use of novel, high-speed Modulated Retro Reflector (MRR) technology. Focussing on low size, weight and power (SWaP) makes the capability suitable for small Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs).

The system being developed by AVoptics will result in a significant reduction in system size, weight, power consumption and system complexity compared to other technologies, satisfying the complex technical demands of UAV operations.

Under the requirements of the DASA funded programme, AVoptics Ltd., a specialist optics research company, will demonstrate a drone-mounted, low-SWaP MRR asymmetrical communication link – reflecting a laser beam directly back to a base station with encoded high-speed data without the need for complex tracking.

DASA requires AVoptics to achieve a sequence of performance milestones, culminating in the demonstration of a high-performance, secure, optical communication datalink between a ground station and a UAV in flight in late 2021.

AVoptics Ltd develops new optical technology for worker safety

AVoptics continues to lend its support during the pandemic crisis, to protect key personnel on the front line and to assist in a safe return to work for those striving to keep the economy in good shape.

We all know that businesses face the immediate challenge of returning their workers to safe working environments if the business is to survive. With assistance from the Welsh Government, AVoptics Ltd are developing two technologies that will aid this:

  • A Boundary Marker Device, which provides a visual aid on the floor to maintain a safe distance between people; and
  • A Sanitisation Box used for package deliveries to kill virus microbes on the surface of a received package.

The equipment, which we expect to be demonstrated to companies by Christmas, will allow businesses to re-open with greater reassurance of workplace safety during the COVID-19 crisis.

These developments continue a proud tradition within the company of responding quickly to help the country out of difficulties. Earlier this year, AVoptics was one of the first companies to manufacture and supply face shields to protect doctors in London, easing the high demand for vital PPE in hospitals.

AVoptics, which specialises in electro-optical technology, provides a holistic service, from initial consultancy, design, prototyping and manufacture, through to test and maintenance/support services, tailored to customers’ requirements.

 

AVoptics are proud to ship the first batch of Face shields to support doctors in London.

AVoptics are proud to be supporting the NHS with their first shipment of face shields to doctors in London. The company’s rapid prototyping facilities, usually used for developing optical systems, are now producing face shields to help supply PPE to doctors. The Cwmbran based research division of AVoptics have recently been working conjunction with Airbus and the Welsh government through the an Endeavr programme developing new 3D printing techniques for optics. This tooling has now been setup to produce face shields using the Prusa open source design. Andrew Lee, Technical Director, said “We are pleased to be able support in anyway we can”.

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