The theme of space exploration remains highly actual not only for companies specialized in it but also for ordinary enterprises. Space holds numerous secrets that are extremely hard to uncover and this is the main reason why people are striving to be closer to it, and consequently, they build observatories with large telescopes in them.
Today the peak of Mount Wilson, California, is an important place for scientific researches and the residence for numerous observatories. Moreover, it has the world’s largest optical interferometer CHARA. Now two more observatories are being built there and the Facebook company plans to use them for their first laser communication systems whose main goal is the connection to orbital satellites.
The company is working on an experimental satellite Athena that can provide efficient, fixed and mobile broadband in areas with bad services. Facebook will utilize laser system technology both in Athena satellite and their future spacecraft.
It should be mentioned that the Facebook company has long been interested in laser modules and communication systems in space because fiber laser systems allow transmitting more data at high rates, and moreover, their signals are protected from interference or hacking despite clouds.
Thus, laser satellite installation includes the observatories with the aim of laser beam transmission into the atmosphere or a satellite to lock on to. This laser system installation will be useful for space mission applications, for satellite and aerospace industries and Facebook’s mission of connectivity.
Laser system communication allows connecting the unconnected and it is highly effective for people in hard-to-reach places to provide the Internet for them. Also, the Internet satellite includes near-infrared lasers that are eye-safe and have higher data rates than a traditional radio-frequency satellite in spite of the fact that the fiber laser system is compact, has light weight and high power.
In fact, this type of satellite will be especially interesting for new companies because laser communication frequencies are not yet regulated. The use of laser system satellite means that it won’t be necessary to track rapidly moving objects, for example, drones or satellites in low Earth orbit.
Nevertheless, even laser beams of high quality spread out and become weaker in thirty-six thousand kilometers travel long from a geosynchronous orbit. Thus, this technology still needs to be developed but is considered to be very promising.
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