For more than 20 years this group has been dealing with high sensitive coherent optical inter-satellite Communications. Since 1998 also atmospheric transmission scenarios are investigated. The advantage of this technology compared with directional RF-links lies mainly in the very narrow divergence of optical beams and according link budget improvements. Furthermore, very high datarates (multi-gigabit per second) only become possible with optical technologies. Further advantages are:
Challenges are among others the signal disturbances by atmospheric index-of-refraction turbulence, signal attenuation and blocking by clouds and the very precise pointing controle of the mobile terminals.
Application areas for this technology which are investigated by OCG are:
Scientific subjects of OCG are among others:
The Group operates the Optical Ground Station Oberpfaffenhofen (OGS-OP) which has been used for successful communication trials with satellites (KIODO, TerraSAR-X-LCT), aircraft (VABENE, ARGOS, MINERVAA, ATENAA), and ground vehicles (project MOND).
From 2011 on a transportable Optical Ground Station (TOGS) will be available for global deployment and use in aeronautical and satellite link campaigns.
In 2009 the company “ViaLight Communications GmbH” was founded by three members of the institute. This spin-off aims at further developing and marketing of the institute’s technology in the optical domain towards commercial products. www.vialight.de