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See also: "laser communication in space

The massive advantages of laser communication in space have multiple space agencies racing to develop a stable space communication platform, with many significant demonstrations and achievements. As of 18 December 2014, no laser communication system is in use in space.

Demonstrations in space:

The first gigabit laser-based communication was achieved by the European Space Agency and called the "European Data Relay System (EDRS) on November 28, 2014. The initial images have just been demonstrated, and a working system is expected to be in place in the 2015–2016 time frame.

NASA's "OPALS announced a breakthrough in space-to-ground communication December 9, 2014, uploading 175 megabytes in 3.5 seconds. Their system is also able to re-acquire tracking after the signal was lost due to cloud cover.

In January 2013, NASA used lasers to beam an image of the Mona Lisa to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter roughly 390,000 km (240,000 mi) away. To compensate for atmospheric interference, an error correction code algorithm similar to that used in CDs was implemented.

A two-way distance record for communication was set by the Mercury laser altimeter instrument aboard the "MESSENGER spacecraft, and was able to communicate across a distance of 24 million km (15 million miles), as the craft neared Earth on a fly-by in May, 2005. The previous record had been set with a one-way detection of laser light from Earth, by the Galileo probe, of 6 million km in 1992. "Quote from Laser Communication in Space Demonstrations (EDRS)



"RONJA is a "free implementation of FSO using high-intensity "LEDs.

In 2001, Twibright Labs released Ronja Metropolis, an open source DIY 10 Mbit/s full duplex LED FSO over 1.4 km[24][25] In 2004, a Visible Light Communication Consortium was formed in "Japan.[26] This was based on work from researchers that used a white LED-based space lighting system for indoor "local area network (LAN) communications. These systems present advantages over traditional "UHF RF-based systems from improved isolation between systems, the size and cost of receivers/transmitters, RF licensing laws and by combining space lighting and communication into the same system.[27] In January 2009, a task force for visible light communication was formed by the "Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers working group for wireless "personal area network standards known as "IEEE 802.15.7.[28] A trial was announced in 2010, in "St. Cloud, Minnesota.[29]

"Amateur radio operators have achieved significantly farther distances using incoherent sources of light from high-intensity LEDs. One reported 173 miles (278 km) in 2007.[30] However, physical limitations of the equipment used limited "bandwidths to about 4 "kHz. The high sensitivities required of the detector to cover such distances made the internal capacitance of the photodiode used a dominant factor in the high-impedance amplifier which followed it, thus naturally forming a low-pass filter with a cut-off frequency in the 4 kHz range. From the other side use of lasers radiation source allows to reach very high data rates which are comparable to fiber communications.

Projected data rates and future data rate claims vary. A low-cost "white LED (GaN-phosphor) which could be used for space lighting can typically be modulated up to 20 MHz.[31] Data rates of over 100 "Mbit/s can be easily achieved using efficient "modulation schemes and "Siemens claimed to have achieved over 500 Mbit/s in 2010.[32] Research published in 2009, used a similar system for traffic control of automated vehicles with LED traffic lights.[33]

In September 2013, pureLiFi, the Edinburgh start-up working on "Li-Fi, also demonstrated high speed point-to-point connectivity using any off-the-shelf LED light bulb. In previous work, high bandwidth specialist LEDs have been used to achieve the high data rates. The new system, the Li-1st, maximizes the available optical bandwidth for any LED device, thereby reducing the cost and improving the performance of deploying indoor FSO systems.[34]

Engineering details[edit]

Typically, best use scenarios for this technology are:

The light beam can be very narrow, which makes FSO hard to intercept, improving security. In any case, it is comparatively easy to "encrypt any data traveling across the FSO connection for additional security. FSO provides vastly improved "electromagnetic interference (EMI) behavior compared to using "microwaves.

Technical advantages[edit]

Range limiting factors[edit]

For terrestrial applications, the principal limiting factors are:

These factors cause an attenuated receiver signal and lead to higher "bit error ratio (BER). To overcome these issues, vendors found some solutions, like multi-beam or multi-path architectures, which use more than one sender and more than one receiver. Some state-of-the-art devices also have larger "fade margin (extra power, reserved for rain, smog, fog). To keep an eye-safe environment, good FSO systems have a limited laser power density and support "laser classes 1 or 1M. Atmospheric and fog attenuation, which are exponential in nature, limit practical range of FSO devices to several kilometres.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Book X". The Histories of Polybius. 1889. pp. 43–46. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Mary Kay Carson (2007). Alexander Graham Bell: Giving Voice To The World. Sterling Biographies. New York: Sterling Publishing. pp. 76–78. "ISBN "978-1-4027-3230-0. 
  3. ^ "Alexander Graham Bell (October 1880). "On the Production and Reproduction of Sound by Light". "American Journal of Science, Third Series. XX (118): 305–324.  also published as "Selenium and the Photophone" in "Nature, September 1880.
  4. ^ "German, WWII, WW2, Lichtsprechgerät 80/80". LAUD Electronic Design AS. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  5. ^ TerraSAR-X NFIRE test
  6. ^ "TereScope 10GE". MRV Terescope. Archived from the original on 2014-08-18. Retrieved October 27, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b A end-of-life notice was posted suddenly and briefly on the MRV Terescope product page in 2011. All references to the Terescope have been completely removed from MRV's official page as of October 27, 2014.
  8. ^ "10 Gbps Through The Air". Arto Link. Retrieved October 27, 2014. new Artolink wireless communication system with the highest capacity: 10 Gbps, full duplex [..] Artolink M1-10GE model 
  9. ^ "LightPointe main page". Retrieved October 27, 2014. 
  10. ^ Miloš Wimmer (13 August 2007). "MRV TereScope 700/G Laser Link". CESNET. Retrieved October 27, 2014. 
  11. ^ Eric Korevaar, Isaac I. Kim and Bruce McArthur (2001). "Atmospheric Propagation Characteristics of Highest Importance to Commercial Free Space Optics" (PDF). Optical Wireless Communications IV, SPIE Vol. 4530 p. 84. Retrieved October 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ Tom Garlington, Joel Babbitt and George Long (March 2005). "Analysis of Free Space Optics as a Transmission Technology" (PDF). WP No. AMSEL-IE-TS-05001. US Army Information Systems Engineering Command. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 13, 2007. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  13. ^ US Federal Employees. "$86.5M in FY2008 & 2009, Page 350 Department of Defense Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Budget Estimates, May 2009, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Justification Book Volume 1, Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, Defense-Wide, Fiscal Year (FY) 2010" (PDF). Retrieved October 4, 2014. 
  14. ^ US Federal Employees. "US$40.5M in 2010 & 2011, page 273, Department of Defense, Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Budget Estimates, February 2011, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Justification Book Volume 1, Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, Defense-Wide, Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Budget Estimates". Retrieved October 4, 2014. 
  15. ^ US Federal Employees. "US$5.9M in 2012, page 250, Department of Defense, Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 President's Budget Submission, April 2013, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Justification Book Volume 1, Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, Defense-Wide". Archived from the original on October 25, 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2014. 
  16. ^ Bruce V. Bigelow (June 16, 2006). "Zapped of its potential, Rooftop laser startups falter, but debate on high-speed data technology remains". Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  17. ^ Nancy Gohring (March 27, 2000). "TeraBeam's Light Speed; Telephony, Vol. 238 Issue 13, p16". Retrieved October 27, 2014. 
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  19. ^ "Terabeam
  20. ^ "LightPointe Website". Retrieved October 27, 2014. 
  21. ^ Robert F. Service (21 December 2001). "Hot New Beam May Zap Bandwidth Bottleneck". Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  22. ^ "CableFree UNITY Website". Retrieved September 28, 2016. 
  23. ^ Fog Optics staff (20 November 2014). "Fog Laser Field Test" (PDF). Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  24. ^ http://ronja.twibright.com/changelog.php
  25. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/prnewswire/press_releases/2013/01/17/BR44159
  26. ^ "Visible Light Communication Consortium". web site. Archived from the original on April 6, 2004.  (Japanese)
  27. ^ Tanaka, Y.; Haruyama, S.; Nakagawa, M.; , "Wireless optical transmissions with white colored LED for wireless home links," Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications, 2000. PIMRC 2000. The 11th IEEE International Symposium on, vol. 2, no., pp. 1325–1329 vol.2, 2000.
  28. ^ "IEEE 802.15 WPAN Task Group 7 (TG7) Visible Light Communication". "IEEE 802 local and metro area network standards committee. 2009. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  29. ^ Kari Petrie (November 19, 2010). "City first to sign on to new technology". St. Cloud Times. p. 1. 
  30. ^ Clint Turner (October 3, 2007). "A 173-mile 2-way all-electronic optical contact". Modulated light web site. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  31. ^ J. Grubor; S. Randel; K.-D. Langer; J. W. Walewski (December 15, 2008). "Broadband Information Broadcasting Using LED-Based Interior Lighting". Journal of Lightwave Technology. 26 (24): 3883–3892. "doi:10.1109/JLT.2008.928525. 
  32. ^ "500 Megabits/Second with White LED Light". news release. Siemens. January 18, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  33. ^ Lee, I.E.; Sim, M.L.; Kung, F.W.L.; , "Performance enhancement of outdoor visible-light communication system using selective combining receiver," Optoelectronics, IET , vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 30–39, February 2009.
  34. ^ "Pure LiFi transmits data using light". web site.  (English)
  35. ^ Jing Xue, Alok Garg, Berkehan Ciftcioglu, Jianyun Hu, Shang Wang, Ioannis Savidis, Manish Jain, Rebecca Berman, Peng Liu, Michael Huang, Hui Wu, "Eby G. Friedman, Gary W. Wicks, Duncan Moore (June 2010). "An Intra-Chip Free-Space Optical Interconnect" (PDF). the 37th International Symposium on Computer Architecture. Retrieved June 30, 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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