Fog Optics is changing free space optics communications, forever.
Fog Optics™ is an applied optics company that produces the most effective products for high quality, high bandwidth communications today, and to will continue to achieve the highest communications rates terrestrially and extra terrestrially in the future.
The Story of Fog Optics
John Cabaniss has worked with top engineers and scientists at Los Alamos, NRO (The National Reconnaissance Office), Lockheed Martin, The Stevens Institute, & GTRI (Georgia Tech Research Institute). Through the course of his career, he noticed that some lasers and systems, when taken out of the lab, performed much better than theory explained consistently. His colleagues explained away any theoretical inconsistencies as opposed to take it as a phenomena worth further examination. This is what John viewed as an opportunity to advance the field and address the issues that are preventing FSO from becoming a reliable communication medium.
John’s starting point was to gather all the published data for real-world test results and combine them with an extensive amount of private data he had helped collect. He then called friends and colleagues to gather more unpublished data. He took all of this field knowledge, and compared and contrasted the results with the academic state of the art. Using this, John started to design a FSO product to address fog, snow and other adverse weather conditions first, knowing that these were what was stopping the FSO market from expanding. John recruited Steven Jefferson, Austin Smith, and Robert Millar to help seize this opportunity. Together they founded Fog Optics.
Their first objective was to develop and test a prototype product. After constructing the first unit, a series of field tests were conducted with the eye-safe system to prove the design. Turning on his system, they captured millions of the individual pulses of light; 535 GB of raw data from over 50 unique field tests across a variety of weather conditions. The real-world data confirmed a system that could sustain operation at 99.99953% year-round, meeting telecom standards for reliability in the worst atmospheric conditions. Notably, a significant amount of data captured was during a 80-100+ decibel (dB) fog event on a 1.2 km range. For comparison, any fog that attenuates more than 49 dB (over any distance) stops modern eye-safe FSO communication.
The systems and designs were correct, and they now had hard data to prove it. This was the breakthrough FSO needed to advance. The prototype system, ready to be plugged into current technology with minimal engineering, sent full signal through fog. With the product ready, on November 1st 2014, the Fog Optics team announced their flagship product, Fog Laser™.
“Comparing Fog Laser™ to a hot knife through butter doesn’t do the achievement justice; this was a 50 caliber bullet through soup.” says John. Facebook, Google, AT&T, Verizon, SpaceX, NASA, all have spent billions to help connect the world. Some have spent over a billion individually to get FSO to work reliably through fog, clouds, & snow – unsuccessfully. The Free Space Optics industry is now at its tipping point; Fog Optics finally has the answer.
And this is just Fog Optics’ debut, with a rich pipeline of Research and Development work continues on the next phase of evolution.