Free space optical technologies are currently only very marginally used in aviation, particularly for communication
purposes. Most applications occur in a military environment, with civilian aviation remaining oblivious to its advantages.
One of these is high-bandwidth communication between the various actors available in an aeronautical network.
Considerable research is underway in order to resolve a multitude of issues like reliable reception and transmission of the
optical signal and the construction of high performance, small and lightweight terminals for the optical transceiver. The
slow Pointing, Acquisition and Tracking of the latter represents a significant issue, which detracts from their usability in
such an environment. Since an aircraft may carry only a limited number of such terminals on board, the delay of a
terminal in reacquiring a target (which is in the order of several seconds) constitutes a significant hurdle in achieving
satisfactory connectivity. This paper proposes an optimization technique, in which packet are reordered dynamically
before transmission in the sender node in order to minimize terminal movement and thus avoid the time-consuming PAT
process. Several parameters are considered such as QoS of the packets, minimization of the number of movements of the
terminal and of the distance it must traverse when it reacquires a target. The algorithm was tested by integrating it into a
custom built, discrete event SystemC simulator. The results verify that incorporating into such a system yields tangible
benefits in terms of the practical throughput achieved by the system through the minimization of idle time, while
High speed free space optical data links are currently finding limited use in military aircraft; however the technology is
slowly starting to diffuse to civilian applications, where they could be used to provide a high bandwidth connection.
However there are several issues that have to be resolved before the technology is ready for deployment. An important
part of these are physical layer issues which deal with the ability to transmit and receive the optical signal reliably, as
well as mechanical issues which focus on the construction of high performance, small and lightweight terminals for the
optical transceiver. The later in conjunction with the cost of such a terminal create a significant limitation on the number
of such equipment that any aircraft might carry on board. This paper attempts to evaluate how various such parameters
affect the capability of an aircraft to take part in and help form a mesh network. The study was conducted by modeling
the aircraft into a custom built SystemC based simulator tool and evaluating the connectivity achieved for varying
several parameters, such as the pointing and acquisition time of the terminal and the number of terminals on board.