Can SuperSpeed ​​Optical Lasers Replace Radio Transmitters?

Could Super-Fast Optical Lasers Replace Radio Transmitters?
Can Super Fast Optical Lasers Replace Radio Transmitters - Deployable optical terminal and experiment scheme. mon. PD tracking photodetector, FFC fiber to free space collimator, QPD quadrant photodetector, CCR corner cube retroreflector, LED light emitting diode, LoRa "Long Range", Tx emitter, Rx receiver. Credits: Scientific Reports (2022)

Researchers from Western Australia have developed a technology that uses extremely fast optical lasers to eliminate the need for radio transmitters for important communications.

Radio transmitters were created more than a century ago and are still used today. The findings of the study, which researchers from the International Research Center for Radio Astronomy (ICRAR) completed in two years, were published in Scientific Reports.

Although optical communications have been in use since the 1980s, due to air turbulence, government and industry continued to use radio transmission technologies in contexts such as satellite communications. Laser beams tend to deviate from their intended target due to atmospheric turbulence.

While optical wireless communications have made significant strides in recent years, this Western Australian turbulence problem is being addressed using a very fast directional mirror that can adapt to turbulence hundreds of times per second.

This allows more settings to be used for superior optical wireless communication, reducing the need to rely on slower radio transmission.

Principal investigator Dr. Shane Walsh explains how his team used optical communication to stabilize a rapidly moving target in a chaotic environment with a continuous, high-speed signal.

“I am pleased that our WA team of researchers were able to add a piece to this important communication puzzle by combining previous research with our team's subject matter expertise,” he said.

A drone that simulates a moving target in real time was used to test the team's discoveries. The researchers will test the system in future stages with a higher-flying aircraft and eventually a low-Earth orbit spacecraft.

The researchers are currently building an optical communications ground station in Western Australia that will allow them to further their research and market the technology. Both business and government are expected to use this technology for various purposes such as meteorology, disaster management, meteorological communication with spacecraft, and the military.

Source: techxplore


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