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posted by janrinok on Tuesday June 07 2022, @09:26AM   Printer-friendly
from the may-it-be-drm-free dept.

link: https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/sony-build-space-lasers-with-new-satellite-services-unit-2022-06-02/

"Sony on Thursday said it formed a new company that will build and supply devices that allow small satellites in orbit to communicate with one another via laser beams, dipping into the fast-growing space sector."

Sony Space Communications Corp, registered on Wednesday, is meant to take advantage of laser technology to avoid a bottleneck of radio frequencies. The devices will work between satellites in space and satellites communicating with ground stations.

The company did not say when it expects to have its first commercial device operating in space, whether it has existing customers lined up or how much money it has invested into the technology to date.

There are roughly 12,000 satellites in orbit, a number that is projected to increase rapidly in the coming years as rocket companies slash the cost of launching things to space, [...]


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.

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Thexalon on Tuesday June 07 2022, @11:12AM (4 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday June 07 2022, @11:12AM (#1251245)

    It turns out Marjorie Taylor Greene was wrong about there being secret Jewish space lasers causing Covid. It was actually secret Japanese space lasers! What an idiot.

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    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday June 07 2022, @02:02PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 07 2022, @02:02PM (#1251264) Journal

      I seem to recall that MTG's claim was the secret Jewish space lasers started the California wild fires.

      In reality it was a conspiracy of overgrown trees and wild brush that colluded to start the fires.

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    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07 2022, @02:48PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07 2022, @02:48PM (#1251276)

      Oy vey.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday June 07 2022, @03:12PM (1 child)

      by Freeman (732) on Tuesday June 07 2022, @03:12PM (#1251292) Journal

      This is just an example of good business practice. Get companies to do things they've done for a long time. I mean, how many lasers has Sony produced over the years, with their DVD/CD/Blu-Ray players? This way they have someone to call for support when they accidentally fry the wrong city block.

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      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday June 08 2022, @03:35PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 08 2022, @03:35PM (#1251564) Journal

        I'm sure Sony has produced more lasers than they have produced rootkits.

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  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday June 07 2022, @02:11PM (3 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 07 2022, @02:11PM (#1251265) Journal

    I remember Ronald Ray Gun's proposed Star Wars to bring spectacular wars and firefights into space!

    I remember the 1984 film: 2010 The Year We Make Contact

    In that film, an American space station is stuck by a laser from a Russian space station.

    Alas, what Sony seems to be doing (according to TFA) is building lasers for satellites to communicate with one another. So we can have hacking in space. It is my understanding that Starlink satellites already use lasers to communicate.

    So Sony now wants its own mega constellation of satellites? For what porpoise? If the satellites don't communicate with the ground for some porpoise, then there is little reason for satellites to communicate with each other.

    A better space weapon that lasers would be satellites that can match another satellite's orbit, sneak up on it, grab it, then push, or drag, kicking and screaming, that satellite into the atmosphere. Such a weapon would need lots of cheap launch capability. (Hmmmm, who has that?) The ability to carry plenty of fuel on bored for lots of delta-v. It would need to change its orbit a couple times after launch to try to evade detection and being added to databases of orbiting stuff.

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07 2022, @05:18PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07 2022, @05:18PM (#1251325)

      think: extra-super-duper-precise-MECHANICAL optonics. mass producible... weeeh.
      you think you have steady hands? point a laser...er...pointer at a wall and see that dot wiggle. or how a tiny movement here, will make a 2 meter jump allll the waaaaayy over there.
      on this "makes swiss watches look like the stone age" topic, why haven't we got pocket lighters with a water refill hole, we can dribble some tap water in, shacke up and down for 5 minutes (mr.magnetbar enjoying time with ms. coil) and then pieco that gas into a pipe (or after-armageddon camp fire)? naughty naughty.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07 2022, @11:35PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07 2022, @11:35PM (#1251422)

      If you have a link (no pun intended) showing Starlink uses lasers now, I'd be interested. My understanding is that they do not, but they want to build it in. They might have even launched a couple for test, but I'm pretty sure it is still a TBD effort.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday June 08 2022, @03:33PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 08 2022, @03:33PM (#1251563) Journal

        I may have misread something. You may be correct and better informed.

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by shrewdsheep on Tuesday June 07 2022, @04:08PM (1 child)

    by shrewdsheep (5215) on Tuesday June 07 2022, @04:08PM (#1251306)

    ... how do they plan to get the sharks up?

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by istartedi on Tuesday June 07 2022, @04:17PM

      by istartedi (123) on Tuesday June 07 2022, @04:17PM (#1251308) Journal

      Sharknado.

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