Optic fibers are often used to make optical systems, but the industry is in the midst of a big shake-up, with optical fibers and fiber optic systems competing for a new $10-billion industry that could create jobs in the United States.
The Department of Energy announced Thursday that it’s awarded a contract to a company to build a fiber optic network for the Department of Defense, the first such deal awarded under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) $1.8-trillion fiber optics program.
The government also will award a $1-billion contract for fiber optics manufacturing in the Navy.
The announcement comes on the heels of the Defense Department’s $1 billion contract to build fiber optics networks for the Navy and Marine Corps.
DARPA’s $2.5 billion fiber optics network was designed to be an integral part of the Navy’s electromagnetic spectrum, enabling digital communications and data transmission, as well as other communications and information systems.
DARAPTRA awarded the contract to OptiNet Technologies, which manufactures fiber optic components.
The fiber optics system will be used to power the Navy Electronic Warfare (NEEW) system, which will include sensors, radars, and other equipment that can provide the Army with real-time information and analysis, as it does today, DARPA said.
DARRAF also awarded a $2 billion contract for OptiNET to build sensors, antennas, and sensors networks for Army sensors.
The Army will use the new fiber optic system for all of its digital and non-digital communications, including sensors, sensors networking equipment, and digital and electronic communications networks, DARRAFs officials said.
The $2-billion deal was awarded to Optimap Technologies, a company based in Austin, Texas.
DARPARTS announced a $8.5-billion award to OptoNet to build and test fiber optic networks for U.S. Army Electronics and Communications (AECOM) systems.
Optonet manufactures components for fiber optic antennas, which are used to support digital networks, and to support wireless communications systems, the companies said.
Optinet is expected to start producing fiber optic equipment for the Army early next year.
In a statement, OptiWin Technologies said it is a leader in fiber optics technology and technology leadership.
“OptiNet’s success will be a key to enabling Army digital networking, communications, and information networks that can be deployed to meet critical Army missions in the field,” the company said.
“We look forward to working with the Army to provide the best possible solutions for our customers.”