Project: Free space Optics Receiver and Transmitter UNit Evaluations for 3G mobile networks

Context (What is Free Space Optics) - While fiber optic communications gained worldwide acceptance in the telecommunication industry, Free-Space Optics (FSO) communications is still considered relatively new. FSO is a line-of-sight technology that uses invisible beams of light to provide optical bandwidth connection that can transmit data, voice, and video at bandwidths up to 1.25 Gb/s. Originally developed by the military and NASA, FSO has been used for more than three decades in various forms to provide fast communication links in remote locations. Unlike radio and microwave systems, no spectrum licensing or frequency coordination with other users is required, interference from or to other systems or equipment is not a concern, and the point-to-point laser signal is extremely difficult to intercept, and therefore secure. Data rates comparable to fiber transmission can be carried with very low error rates, while the extremely narrow laser beam widths ensure that it is possible to co-locate multiple transceivers without risk of mutual interference in a given location_x000D__x000D_Issues and solution - FSO technology is based on connectivity between FSO-based optical wireless units, each consisting of an optical transceiver with a transmitter and a receiver to provide full-duplex (bi-directional) capability. While fiber-optic cable and FSO technology share many of the same attributes, they share different challenges due to the way they transmit information. While fiber is subject to outside disturbances from wayward construction backhoes, gnawing rodents, and even sharks when deployed under the sea, FSO technology is subject to its own potential outside disturbances. Optical wireless networks based on FSO technology must be designed to combat changes in the atmosphere. Even under optimum conditions, distance are limited to a range of 2-5 kilometers or so. Due to physical limits (optical aperture, power throughput, laser wavelength), efficient implementation of Adaptive Optics (AO) legacy techniques to increase FSO range performance reCOs complex and costly, only affordable in customized system for space and defence applications. Fortune 43G proposes an innovative technical approach to overcome this issue for the benefits of demanding existing and future commercial applications._x000D__x000D_Why now? (Market drivers) - The broader market for FSO-based technology did not emerge until late 2000, with the development of local loop applications as an alternative to RF-based systems to extend the reach of optical fiber. With the ever-increasing demand for greater bandwidth comes a critical-need for FSO-based products for a balance of throughput, distance and availability. Nowadays, mobile operators are currently facing the challenge of rolling out backhaul network infrastructure in a timely, scalable and cost effective manner (even when there is no prior existing fixed infrastructure especially in developing countries). FSO-based product are more appropriate for mobile operator who do not own wire line infrastructure and need to rely on leased line from a competitor who does. This approach, though sufficient for the narrowband leased lines used in today’s 2G GSM networks, turns to be too costly for more advanced 3G cellular networks that require higher capacity lines_x000D__x000D_Objective and deliverable _x000D_The CO objective is the delivery of the first 10 km range cost effective FSO application prototype prefiguring future affordable products for commercial applications. Following innovative concepts and specific expertise are combined: _x000D_- New Adaptive Optics (AO)-based Method to counteract the effects of atmospheric turbulences_x000D_- Use of differential wavelengths to enhance the Signal to Noise Ratio_x000D_- Fine Pointing and Tracking (FPT) system for fast deployment_x000D_- Technology of deformable mirrors and closed-loop AO systems_x000D__x000D_Project Consortium_x000D_- SHAKTIWARE (France): an expansion-stage innovative French-based SME that develops manufactures and markets wireless, free-space optical (FSO) lasers. The sole FSO player in France. Intervenes as project leader_x000D_- ONERA (France): l’Office National d’Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales, is the French aerospace research center, deploys its skills and expertise in conjunction with counterparts in France and throughout Europe. Intervenes in the design of the optical system and in the simulation of the FSO link performances. _x000D_- OKOTECH (The Netherlands): Flexible Optical BV (OKO Technologies) develops, manufactures and supplies adaptive optical systems for adaptive wavefront correction and generation in scientific, industrial and medical applications, based on MEMS and piezoelectrical deformable mirrors. Intervenes in technology of deformable mirrors and closed-loop AO systems, technology of fine pointing and tip-tilt control_x000D_- TURKCELL (Turkey): GSM operator in Turkey since 1994, Turkcell is the 2nd largest mobile operator in Europe and the first European telecom carrier having experienced FSO technology. _x000D_

Acronym Fortune43G (Reference Number: 4241)
Duration 01/07/2008 - 01/01/2011
Project Topic Adaptive Optics (AO) techniques stand for the more promising candidates to overcome the limitation impact of atmospheric turbulence on Free Space Optics. _x000D_ As an alternative to traditional techniques hampered by cost, Fortune 43G's offers an innovative AO approach for the demanding telecom market.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
Optical system archtitecture was designed. It is based on performance simulation by taking into account turbulence and system tolerancing impactS.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 1

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
4 SHAKTIWARE Observer France
4 Flexible Optical BV Partner Netherlands
4 Office Nationale d'Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales Partner France