Military, civilians, and industry are all heavy users of radio frequency (RF) signals for communications, factory control systems, and sensing -to name only a few applications. However, there are situations where the use of RF is undesirable, dangerous, or impractical. These include instances where signal interception and data theft are high, where RF may interfere with medical equipment, or where band capacity is limited.
For these situations, Navy researchers have leveraged a non-RF communication mode utilizing lightweight and wearable free-space optical systems. A variety of optical and electronic elements are used to enable communications and identification in an environment where these tasks must be secure and effective. The LEROAT system is a suite of devices including a laser interrogator, multi-function optical transceivers (MOTS), and an optical audio receiver (OAR). These transceivers can be attached to helmets, backpacks, or clothing. Optical signals are converted to audio and sent to a headset.
- Signals are encoded and sent in the non-visible spectrum
- System can be used passively to identify individuals in an area or actively to communicate with those individuals
- Transmit platforms can be many and include fixed, aerial, ground vehicle, individual, or ship
- Optical communications can be person-to-person
- US patent 9,602,203 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Navy researchers