NASA has announced that the agency will be testing laser-based broadband technology this week they believe will be capable of delivering speeds up to 600 Mbps. The test will involve communicating with a probe that orbits the moon using telescopes that are just under one meter in diameter. NASA believes that these telescopes can eventually be re-engineered to receive 2.5 gigabits per second if made larger (up to three meters).
MIT Technology Review offers a good read on how the satellite industry hopes to migrate from radio to laser communications to offer higher bandwidth satellite communications, though this is a push that has been decades in the making. This latest NASA test will use detectors at up to four locations to manage the technology's long-time nemesis: clouds.
quote:"This is demonstrating the first optical data transmission for a deep-ish space mission. If you resize it and partly reëngineer it, you could potentially do it to Mars," he says. Because clouds block photons, detectors are being installed at three spots: one each in California and New Mexico, and a third on the Canary Islands. On this mission, though, the system will merely be tested.
This latest version of laser-based communications is being pushed by a company creatively named Laser Light Communications, who say they hope to have an initial 48 ground stations to improve cloud-dodging and reliability when they eventually push the product commercially.
Harddrive Proud American and Infidel since 1968. Premium join:2000-09-20 DFW kudos:2
14 years in the making... thanks to Lucent and Bell Labs
Google "Lucent WaveStar OpticAir". It's not a "new technology". It's just that one side could be considered highly mobile.
"LUCENT TO LAUNCH WAVESTAR OPTICAIR SYSTEM IN 2000 Thursday 22 July 1999 | 00:00 CET | News Lucent will launch its WaveStar OpticAir wireless system in March 2000, according to the company. The system uses DWDM laser technology to provide 2.5-Gbits/sec data transfer over 5 km, or over 16-fold faster than current lasers. The company also aims to offer data transfer four-fold faster, using DWDM technology, by summer 2000. WaveStar OpticAir is aimed at situations where installation of fibre cables is impractical or impossible. Lucent has refused to disclose the price charges for either system. However, GBP64,500 for a connection would be compatible with the planned prices."
Re: 14 years in the making... thanks to Lucent and Bell Labs
Looks like a good backhaul method for cell towers when running fiber cable is too costly to accomplish. -- "If you want to anger a conservative lie to him. If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."
They mentioned a solution for the cloud problem.. Its in the article and reads real easy ;-p
Either way, once nasa get the kinks worked out, ATT, or Verizon or one of the big wiggies will buy it up and slap a cap on it.. Might as well burn all technology in the US as they have made it worthless with the price's
2013-Sep-6 11:37 am: ·
davidhoffman Premium join:2009-11-19 Warner Robins, GA kudos:3
The so called solution to the clouds is not really a solution but a band-aid. I wish I could get government money to chase ideas that violate the basic laws of physics. I guess some of us in the USofA Federal Government have to be more practical and careful with how we spend R&D money than the people at NASA. I usually admire those people, but sometimes they are ridiculous in the way they waste money.
This latest NASA test will use detectors at up to four locations to manage the technology's long-time nemesis: clouds.
In addition to clouds, random bird shit shouldn't be an issue. The test might not be able to handle simultaneous multiple bird bombs AND lots of clouds but the long term approach of 48 ground stations seems to rule out all but a asteroid apocalypse.
I'm not following the "tons of laser satellites" plan. Google's balloons are providing Internet service to single end points. Space-based laser communications are only reliable when multiple base stations (connected by some hard line) are used. The idea being one of them will always have clear sky. They probably employ diversity algorithm based on receiving signal strength and select the best one at any given moment. They could also use a more sophisticated active technology like laser guide star, which shines a laser through the atmosphere to measure atmospheric distortion. The large astronomical telescopes use this technique to correct for atmospheric blurring.