Mandy Kinnucan | July 14, 2014
A recent donation to the University of Notre Dame’s Airborne Aero-Optics Laboratory (AAOL) is about to give laser-directed energy and free-space communication a transonic boost: researching at the speed of sound.
A Falcon 10 aircraft, donated by Philadelphia-area businessman Matthew McDevitt, will enable the University to continue its groundbreaking aerospace research and development that will advance technology for weapons systems and communications. The results could pave the way to high-field-of-regard, point-to-point airborne laser propagation for directed energy and communications as fast and robust as fiber-optic Internet connectivity. In other words, high-flying research at Notre Dame is not only helping to refine the U.S.’s weapons systems, but it could lead to a television show streaming just as fast on a commercial flight as it does in a living room.