Laser Communications in Air and Space

12 February 2015

Royal Aeronautical Society

143

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This lecture will be given by Martin Agnew, R&T and Innovations Coordinator at Airbus Defence and Space.  

RF Satellite Communications (SatCom) is excellent for broadband (10's-100's Mbps), high availability, communications to remote locations and mobile platforms beyond line-of-sight (BLOS). Laser free-space optical communications offer the possibility of ultra-wideband (Gbps) communications for these applications.

This presentation will review the current state-of-the-art, and historical achievements, in laser communications (LOS/BLOS) in air and space. Current and future trends will be discussed, as well as an outline of current and future developments. Some ConUse/Scenarios will be used to show the potential of this technology in real current and future applications.

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Speaker Details

Martin Agnew, R&T and Innovations Coordinator, Airbus Defence and Space

Martin Agnew graduated in Physics from Imperial College, London, in 1984 specializing in semiconductor device physics and electronics. He subsequently worked for Standard Telecommunications Laboratories for eight years, researching and developing GaAs MESFET based ASIC technology, and InP/InGaAs HEMT based Opto-Electronic IC’s, with the results presented at international conferences. Through this work Martin Agnew developed an expertise in RF & Microwave engineering. As a result he moved into the emerging wireless mobile communications industry at Bell Northern Research, Wireless Technology Laboratories. In the next eight years Martin developed technologies which resulted in leading-edge products for a range of Military and Commercial applications. This led to a number of World Firsts including the first ATM over Coax Digital Cable-Modem and the first plastic packed RF chipset at 3.5GHz.

In 2000, Martin returned to the optical communications industry as a Senior Manager responsible for optical long-haul product development. In this position he successfully developed a Dual 2.5Gbps Optical Long Haul Wavelength Translator product, and demonstrated the technical feasibility of 10.7Gbps Digital Wrapper FEC, mid-size all Photonic Cross-Connect switches & Add/Drop Multiplexers. In 2003 Martin joined the Advanced Technology Centre of BAE-Systems where he developed miniaturization/integration technologies applied to Antenna, RF/MMIC, Opto-Electronic and signal processing for Aerospace and Defence applications, as well as research into wide band-gap semiconductors, integrated cooling and nano-structures/devices. This work led to a ‘Chairman’s Award for Innovation’.

Through external consultancy to assist Astrium in the development of active receive antenna on GEO satellites, Martin was headhunted into EADS Astrium Services as a Senior Manager responsible for New Service development. In this position he was the Engineering lead responsible for development and rollout of large/complex new services including the High Integrity Telecommunications Service for the UK Cabinet Office, which served almost fifty remote local government sites throughout the UK with a hybrid SatCom/terrestrial network. Martin was the Chief Engineer on the EDRS SpaceDataHighway feasibility studies for ESA establishing the core network and service architecture, leading to the successful competitive bid to design, build and operate the service on behalf of the ESA, and other 3rd Party customers. More recently Martin was appointed EDRS Service Design Authority & Head of Service Creation, where he working on the architecture for the 2nd generation of EDRS, as well as lower cost/mass LEO & Airborne Optical & Ka-ISL terminals.

Following the reorganisation into Airbus Defence & Space (ADS) last year, Martin is now responsible for coordinating all Research & Technology and Innovations for the Communications, Intelligence and Security businesses in ADS. He also has responsibilities in the central Airbus Defence & Space R&T management, including the ADS Transverse Innovation Board. He keeps his interest in laser free-space optical communications through sponsorship of key strategic projects in ADS.

Location Details

Royal Aeronautical Society