Free space optical communication systems, with applications in space, air, terrestrial and maritime environments.

SA Photonics designs, produces and manufactures complete free space optical (FSO) communication systems for various applications. In general, FSO provides high data rates over long link distances, with very low probabilities of signal detection or interception. Furthermore, these advantages often come in a package with reduced size, weight and power consumption compared to traditional RF systems. With no RF spectrum allocation required, and an inherent immunity to RF interference and jamming, FSO communication systems provide a significant benefit to modern communication.

SA Photonics’ FSO systems utilize our patented optics design, optimized to operate through atmospheric channels. Our products have built-in physical layer retransmission to overcome atmospheric-induced fading, and a design allowing for automatic link acquisition.


Our commercially available Nexus-10G™ is a fully integrated, bi-directional FSO system providing terrestrial point-to-point communication. Initially designed for commercial telecom applications, Nexus-10G™ is a low cost and fully ruggedized system providing 10 Gbps data rates. This platform is the basis for SA Photonics’ terrestrial FSO systems, which are low cost and fully ruggedized, and feature customized designs for fixed or mobile applications.


Our space FSO communication systems provide satellite crosslinks and bi-directional satellite-to-earth links via low complexity systems, minimizing size, weight, power and cost. Our CrossBeam™ system for satellite crosslinks, shown at right, exemplifies with its powerful capabilities in a small, low cost package. SA Photonics’ custom-developed, space-based FSO technologies include: our full hemispherical beam director with an integrated optical beam expander to minimize mass and volume; patented optics designs with single element lens systems; fully integrated cubesat units with beam steering, closed loop beam tracking, fiber laser source and modem; and more.


SA Photonics has many FSO technologies developed for air-to-air, air-to-ground, air-to-satellite and air-to-sea bi-directional links. Our internal beam steering components support a wide field-of-regard, and utilize high bandwidth tracking to allow operation without a stabilized gimbal. Our custom airborne FSO systems can include multiple apertures to provide greater field-of-regard coverage, and support mesh multi-point airborne networks; data rates are scalable from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps; and link distances include up to 250 nmi.


Additionally, SA Photonics provides underwater FSO communication systems for manned and unmanned vehicles. Our Neptune™ FSO system is a compact, low-power, high data rate underwater optical communication system for any underwater environment, including littoral and deep ocean settings. The Neptune™ platform provides the basis for our fully-customizable underwater FSO systems, all consisting of a flexible laser transmitter that provides adaptive modulation capability based upon water conditions and link distance, coupled with a highly sensitive optical detection system.



NeptuneTM Underwater FSO

Please contact us for details on our extensive FSO platform, and to discuss a solution tailored for your application.