Connecting the Undersea Environment with Improved Communications

Today’s naval forces face a number of strategic challenges. In particular, the number of traditional assets or resources available to conduct their missions, specifically platforms (aircraft, surface combatants and submarines), continues to steadily decline due to age and naval budget reductions.

Unmanned vehicles and systems are efficient, scalable solutions that extend the reach of naval platforms and enhance their ability to effectively address the worldwide maritime battle space. However, the network available today to command, control and exfiltrate data from these unmanned vehicles and systems is often inadequate for the mission, particularly in the undersea domain. Legacy systems utilizing radio frequency (RF) or acoustics fall short due to physics, the lack of stealth, insufficient bandwidth, the susceptibility to being jammed or denied, or failures from a variety of other operational perspectives.

Blue-green optical laser communications systems, with their ability to penetrate seawater to operationally significant depths, stealth characteristics and resistance to jamming, along with the lack of tethers, cables and speed and maneuverability restrictions, represent the most promising technology available today to truly connect the undersea environment.

QinetiQ North America’s underwater blue-green optical laser communications portfolio provides on-demand one and two-way communications, command and control of undersea systems, and data exfiltration needs for current and future manned and unmanned systems, vehicles, fixed and mobile sensors, and underwater distributed sensor networks.

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