Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by janrinok on Monday March 14 2022, @04:12PM   Printer-friendly

DoD space agency funds development of laser terminal that connects to multiple satellite at once:

The Space Development Agency [SDA] awarded BridgeComm and Space Micro a $1.7 million contract to demonstrate point-to-multipoint communications

Each of the satellites in the Pentagon’s planned mesh network of communications satellites could have as many as many as four laser links so they can talk to other satellites, airplanes, ships and ground stations.

Optical inter-satellite links are critical to the success of the Space Development Agency’s low Earth orbit constellation — known as Transport Layer — that will be used to route data traffic. Lasers provide much higher transmission data rates than traditional radio-frequency communications but are also far more expensive.

SDA recently awarded nearly $1.8 billion in contracts for 126 satellites for the Transport Layer. By some estimates, about $500 million of that total would be for optical terminals, said Michael Abad-Santos, senior vice president of business development and strategy at BridgeComm, a Denver-based optical communications startup.

The company developed a so-called “one-to-many” optical communications technology for point-to-multipoint transmissions. This technology could help reduce the cost of building constellations by requiring fewer terminals, Abad-Santos said.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Starlink’s Inter-Satellite Laser Links Are Setting New Record With 42 Million GB Per Day 13 comments

https://www.pcmag.com/news/starlinks-laser-system-is-beaming-42-million-gb-of-data-per-day

SpaceX's laser system for Starlink is delivering over 42 petabytes of data for customers per day, an engineer revealed today. That translates into 42 million gigabytes.

"We're passing over terabits per second [of data] every day across 9,000 lasers," SpaceX engineer Travis Brashears said today at SPIE Photonics West, an event in San Francisco focused on the latest advancements in optics and light.

[...] Although Starlink uses radio waves to beam high-speed internet to customers, SpaceX has also been outfitting the company's satellites with a "laser link" system to help drive down latency and improve the system's global coverage.

[...] Brashears also said Starlink's laser system was able to connect two satellites over 5,400 kilometers (3,355 miles) apart. The link was so long "it cut down through the atmosphere, all the way down to 30 kilometers above the surface of the Earth," he said, before the connection broke.

"Another really fun fact is that we held a link all the way down to 122 kilometers while we were de-orbiting a satellite," he said. "And we were able to downstream the video."

[...] For the future, SpaceX plans on expanding its laser system so that it can be ported and installed on third-party satellites. The company has also explored beaming the satellite lasers directly to terminals on the Earth's surface to deliver data. But Brashears said a "deeper study" is necessary to enable the technology.

Related stories on SoylentNews:
Sony to Build Space Lasers With New Satellite Services Unit - 20220606
CubeSat Set to Demonstrate NASA's Fastest Laser Link from Space - 20220530
DoD Space Agency Funds Development of Laser Terminal that Connects to Multiple Satellite at Once - 20220313
Exploring Together, NASA and Industry Embrace Laser Communications - 20211130
SpaceX Paused Starlink Launches to Give its Internet Satellites Lasers - 20210826


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14 2022, @06:00PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14 2022, @06:00PM (#1229109)

    If I wanted to put a multi-laser weapon in space I'd disguise it as a com sat and actually use it that way... until the day when you need to flip a switch to turn up the laser output to weapon status.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14 2022, @06:39PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14 2022, @06:39PM (#1229117)

      Good luck building a laser capable of operating in both modes. Assuming it is even possible I suspect it would make even the SLS look cheap.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14 2022, @07:06PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14 2022, @07:06PM (#1229121)

        Shhhhhhh, don't go ruining a good fantasy in his head.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 15 2022, @02:21AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 15 2022, @02:21AM (#1229221)

        Uh... It's easier than you think.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14 2022, @06:46PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14 2022, @06:46PM (#1229118)

    For Starlink satellite communication?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14 2022, @08:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 14 2022, @08:22PM (#1229155)

      No, not in any meaningful way. Lots of talk about it, though.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 15 2022, @02:08AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 15 2022, @02:08AM (#1229214)

      Starlink has point-to-point lasers and one-to-many radios. This is something they might be interested in as an upgrade, assuming the price is low enough.

  • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Monday March 14 2022, @08:16PM (2 children)

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 14 2022, @08:16PM (#1229152) Homepage Journal

    Lasers, eh? Light, maybe? What frequency range do they use to get through clouds?

    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Tuesday March 15 2022, @01:56PM (1 child)

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday March 15 2022, @01:56PM (#1229309) Homepage Journal

      Does your radio, TV, and cell phone stop working when it's cloudy? All of them transmit and/or receive light, just frequencies of light that are invisible to you. LASERs aren't confined to visible light. A photon is a photon no matter what its frequency.

      --
      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 15 2022, @07:16PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 15 2022, @07:16PM (#1229415)

        Does your radio, TV, and cell phone stop working when it's cloudy?
        It's a scientific fact that clouds do indeed affect radio and light... you unscientific Jack.

(1)