Exelis has completed a month-long evaluation of the Tactical Line-of-Sight Optical Network (TALON) free-space optical communications system.
The exercises, conducted by Exelis, NovaSol and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, demonstrated TALON’s ability to transmit 100 megabits per second of high-resolution imagery and video over a distance of more than 31 miles, according to an Exelis news release. The system also created a data link between two Marine Corps Tactical Elevated Antenna Mast Systems.
Free-space optical communications systems use lasers to transmit data at speeds of 100 kilobits to tens of gigabits per second, and operate about 1,000 times faster than conventional radio frequency communications. The narrow laser beams are also harder to intercept and avoid congested radio frequency bands, according to Exelis.
“Free-space optical communications systems provide fighting forces with a high-capacity data link that is not reliant on hardline connections, such as fiber cables,” said Joe Rambala, vice president of Exelis’s integrated electronic warfare systems business. “As the battlefield becomes more data-driven, ensuring warfighters are equipped with the information they need, whenever and wherever they need it, is critical to mission success.”