Air Force seeks optical communication on UAVs

ROME, N.Y., 7 Sept. 2005. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has awarded a $12.3 million contract to Opticomp Corp. of Zephyr Cove, Nev.

ROME, N.Y., 7 Sept. 2005. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has awarded a $12.3 million contract to Opticomp Corp. of Zephyr Cove, Nev.

"This research is aimed at developing massively parallel optical interconnects for communications networks on board unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)," said Robert L. Kaminski, program manager at the AFRL Information Directorate.

"Today's high-speed optical networking technology is built for terrestrial communications environments," he said. "We need something that is highly integrated -- offering reduced size, weight and power capabilities -- due to the size and weight limitations of UAVs envisioned in the future."

The agreement, "Massively Parallel Optical Interconnects (MPOI)," is a one-year contract, with an option for three additional years of research. It is funded under congressional direction. Carmen Pisano of the directorate's contracting division negotiated the agreement.

OptiComp Corp. is an optoelectronic engineering firm located at Lake Tahoe in Zephyr Cove, Nev. As a prime federal contractor for over 10 years, the company has been designing and fabricating digital optoelectronic devices for high speed switching and data processing applications. OptiComp occupies a 6,500 foot facility with a 2000 square foot, class-1000 clean room and a full service optoelectronic testing laboratory. The clean room capabilities include photolithography, metal deposition, reactive ion etching, wet oxidation, wafer dicing, and flip-chip bonding.

Whether you're a system integrator or network supplier, building fiber optic networks with faster, more reliable transmission is a constant challenge. As a federal contractor, OptiComp has provided advanced optoelectronic integrated circuit (OEIC) technology to government customers including NASA, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. For more information, see www.opticomp.com.

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