The free space optical communications system is called TALON and was developed by the two firms under a future naval capability program funded by the Office of Naval Research.
In monthlong testing, conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, TALON demonstrated its capability to wirelessly transmit 100 megabits per second of high-resolution imagery and video over a distance of more than 31 miles.
It also acquired and maintained a data link between two U.S. Marine Corps tactical elevated antenna mast systems.
"Free-space optical communications systems provide fighting forces with a high-capacity data link that is not reliant on hardline connections, such as fiber cables," said Joe Rambala, vice president and general manager of the Exelis integrated electronic warfare systems business. "As the battlefield becomes more data-driven, ensuring warfighters are equipped with the information they need, whenever and wherever they need it, is critical to mission success."
Free-space optical communications systems use laser technology to transmit narrow beams of energy capable of carrying anywhere from 100 kilobits to tens of gigabits of data per second -- far outpacing the capability of conventional radio frequency communications systems.