Posted on | November 7, 2007 | 4 Comments
Oerlikon recently demonstrated transmission of data over light at a distance of 1.5 million kilometers. The laser is specifically designed to provide data links to and from objects in space (to each other), as well as planetary to object, or possibly interplanetary links.
From what the press release says, they achieved speeds of approximately 10MBit/Sec, which is extremely exciting. More or less, it would be like a slow Ethernet cable from Earth to the moon, or Earth to several distant (key) places in the galaxy that are ideal for the positioning of future space telescopes.
Of course, they were not able to test in space, they had to test on Earth by weakening the beam and simulating the 1.5 million kilometer transversal, a process that is very well (and plainly) described in the press release.
What this could mean is (sort of) streaming video from space telescopes, easy communication with equipment in orbit or on the moon, help for probes to navigate from beacons broadcasting with this type of link and many other things.
High resolution pictures of the device can be found on their web site. The only information that they forgot to publish is the correct pronunciation of their company name.
So, all of you groaners still stuck on a 10 meg switch because your boss is to cheap to get you something better, your connection is actually moving at (relatively) warp speed