QinetiQ has delivered the world’s first profitable demonstration of an airborne un-crewed platform being managed through a laser communication system; strengthening army functionality for covert, low detection chance operations sooner or later. The progressive demonstration noticed a floor primarily based operator management an airborne Un-crewed Air System (UAS), transmitting management instructions and receiving sensor and platform data that included Free House Optical Communications (FSOC) as a bi-directional hyperlink in its mission communication system. FSOC present very excessive bandwidth, very low chance of detection communications, low logistical footprint and the potential to negate the appreciable funding that adversaries could have made in denying the RF spectrum. The management of an airborne un-crewed platform has previously been enabled through using radio frequency (RF) applied sciences, that are vulnerable to detection and interference.

Rob Scott, QinetiQ Programme Supervisor, stated; “To make it attainable, we needed to take a mission-led innovation strategy and work very carefully with Dstl and companions. We’d additionally wish to thank AVoptics for his or her assist and fast integration of their WOLF FSOC system into the demonstration”.


Dave Dixon, QinetiQ Technical Lead for the venture, remarked;“This progressive use of FSOC builds on the sooner Crewed-Uncrewed Teaming demonstrations that supplied UK and European firsts within the reside airborne management of UAS. It additionally showcases the expertise and functionality obtainable within the UK and supplies additional proof that groups comprising each people and machines are an important a part of how militaries function sooner or later”.

This was a profitable demonstration of an built-in FSOC system as a way of operation in a contested RF setting the place there’s a want for safe, covert operations. The demonstration shaped a part of the DSTL Air Command and Management (C2), Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) and Interoperability venture. The venture goals embrace bettering each the digital interoperability and resilience of the communication methods that join air platforms and related capabilities (each present and potential). The outputs of the venture are supporting exploitation actions throughout the UK MOD Entrance Line Instructions, together with Air, Land, Maritime and Joint. The demonstration was a live-virtual occasion, utilizing interoperable message requirements to activity various digital platforms and the reside UAS, utilizing QinetiQ ACCSIOM swarm know-how. The intensive floor and air house was supplied by the Military inside Salisbury Plain Coaching Space (SPTA).