Non-coherent Free Space Optical Communication

Optical communication methods are able to provide high data rates but are generally limited in use on microsatellites due to their requirements for either a beam steering device or advanced ADCS. Aphelion is developing a new communication method using high powered, directional non-coherent light to produce self-contained systems with minimal space and pointing requirements. A prototype unit was recently demonstrated with multiple-LED complex modulation on the ground. The unit was able to achieve much higher wall-plug efficiency than laser-based units, and opens up new paths for advanced spatial modulation techniques.