Laser Communications

Lately, the concept of laser communications has been a popular topic as they
provide solutions for the ever increasing bandwidth needs, which are highly in
demand today. Here is more info about this concept.
Though lasers have been used for several applications, the field that has received
major attention is the feasibility of using lasers for developing a high density
communication system.
What is Laser Communication System?
A laser communications link is a wireless connection via the atmosphere. Though
it is not a common practice of amateur communication system, it does pose several
technical challengesthat have fascinated talented people since years.
Concept of Working of Laser Communications
Laser communication systems work similar to fiber optic links, except for the
difference that the beam is communicated via free space. It is necessary that the
transmitter as well as receiver be placed in line-of- sight conditions, but they do
eliminate the need for buried cables and broadcast rights. Signal transmission is
carried out using either a laser diode or high power LED. The frequency used for the
transmission of signals is the range close to the infrared spectrum. Two parallel
beams of laser lights are used- one for transmitting signals and one for receiving
Advantages and Disadvantages
As seen in the previous section, laser communication systems eliminate the need for
buried cables and broadcast rights. Since these systems work near the infrared
spectrum, they do not require government licensing or payment of spectrum fees.
Moreover, the links can be deployed quickly as radio interference studies are not
essential. The narrow beam-width of laser prevents its interference with other
communication links of this kind. The laser communication systems are faster than
other modes of communications with a speed greater than 1 GBps. So, it surpasses
LAN or wireless LATheN completely.
However, there are also few advantages of laser communication links, the main one
being the need for direct line-of- sight.Sometimes, the events may be unavailable and
there may be short interruptions that may last from few hours to few days. Though
laser beams can be transmitted through glass surfaces, the light intensity is
decreased for each glass surface because of the combination of refraction and
absorption, thus bringing down the operational distance of the link.
Applications of Laser Communication Links
The applications of laser communications can span up to a distance of around 6
kilometres at low bitrates depending on the climatic zones; these links are protocol
transparent permitting broadcasting of digital computer data, multiplexed data, VOIP,
and video. Hence, laser communications are useful for temporary connectivity
requirements such as sports events, university and corporate campuses, military
operations, or disaster events.

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