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Space-Based Laser Communications Break Threshold

January 30, 2018

Laser communications through optical fibers move tens of terabits of data every second between cities and across oceans. But for the majority of Earth’s surface, where running fiber is impractical physically or financially, communication satellites in space provide connectivity—to remote ground users and also to mobile platforms such as aircraft, ships and even other satellites. These links rely on radio-frequency (RF) communications, which, while reliable, are orders of magnitude slower in moving data than optical fiber links, and have issues related to antenna footprint, power requirements and limited available spectrum...

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