FN Herstal

Marine Corps seeks ideas, information for Optical Communication Transmission System

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —

Marine Corps Systems Command released a Request for Information March 5, to identify a non-developmental solution to provide a complete Line of Sight Optical Communication Transmission System.

A U.S. Marine with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa performs a radio check during a training event with German soldiers in Seedorf, Germany, Dec. 6, 2018. Marine Corps Systems Command released a Request for Information March 5, to identify a non-developmental solution to provide a complete Line of Sight Optical Communication Transmission System. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt Katelyn Hunter)

According to the RFI, released on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the OCTS system must be capable of providing a high-bandwidth transmission path used for voice, video and data communications.

For program officials, this capability will consolidate capabilities into a complete LOS transmission capability.

“The adage, ‘Move, shoot, communicate’ hasn’t changed, but how we communicate is rapidly changing,” said Maj. Eric Holmes, MCSC project officer. “Given the rapid pace of innovation in technology, the Marine Corps is currently evaluating maturing capabilities.”

Optical communications support greater bandwidth, and provide additional relief for frequency allocations in an already constrained spectrum.

“The Marine Corps is turning to industry to help rapidly develop and field this technology to protect vital command and control emissions from advanced adversaries,” Holmes said.   

Responses to the RFI must be received by 1 p.m. on March 19.

By Maj Kenneth Kunze, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication | Marine Corps Systems Command

2 Responses to “Marine Corps seeks ideas, information for Optical Communication Transmission System”

  1. James says:

    Torey Pines Lightspeed B20?

    • Prometheus says:

      They probably want a FSO (free space optical) laser system. In theory, it should be awesome because it can’t be jammed and it is nearly impossible to intercept. However, in real life, it is highly sensitive to atmospheric and environmental conditions ( more on that here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-space_optical_communication#Extending_the_useful_distance ).

      The fact that they state that “The Optical Transmission capability shall be capable of operation in a wavelength of 1530-1565 nm” means that it’s 99% sure that’s what they want. 1530-1565 nm the the wavelength interval for a C band laser. The fact that they ask for a range of “56km minimum” and “Minimum 100 Mbps” means that they are on some strong shit, because that’s straight out of Star Trek. They won’t find anyone able to really provide that. They may get duped by some snake oil salesmen though. See the famous Iraq fake bomb detectors scam ( more on that here: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-29459896 ).