What are the Military Applications of Optical Fibers?

Communications satellites are used for military communications applications, such as Global Command and Control Systems. Examples of military systems that use use communication satellites are the MILSTAR, the DSCS, and the FLTSATCOM of the United States, NATO satellites, United Kingdom satellites, and satellites of the former Soviet Union.

Many military satellites operate in the X-band, and some also use UHF radio links, while MILSTAR also utilizes Ka band.

Communication systems require an exceptional level of tactical grade equipment, which provides access to the global information grid of shared data and information. These systems utilize fiber optic cable networks to transmit intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance information through different communication systems.

Satellites, interlinked ground links, and communication systems are considered an important part of communication networks as they enable data transmission through secure datalinks. These data links use compatible communication protocols to share information securely between allies. For instance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces use Link 16 to exchange air force data with member countries. Other prominent systems in use by NATO forces include the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS).

Lockheed Martin develops communication satellites and satellites communication systems for the US Air Force to improve its ground communication.

Military operations undergo extreme conditions during rescue operations and hence require more ruggedized fiber optic cables. In military aircraft, fiber optic cables are used in avionics and mission control systems for high-speed data transfer for applications such as mission data, flight planning data, and sensor data fusion for weapon systems.

Thus, the increasing adoption of fiber optic cables in military aircraft and increased procurement of these aircraft is expected to boost the market for fiber optic cables market for military and aerospace. Various 4th and 5th generation fighter aircraft such as the F-35, J-20, and Su-57 use fiber optic cables onboard to monitor the performance of engines, flight control systems, and avionics.


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