Unlicensed lasers link LEO microsatellites in real-time
Sony Group Announced that it has created a new company to build laser-powered satellites. Sony Space Communications (SSC) Corporation, headquartered in San Mateo, California, Sony’s newly acquired, wholly owned subsidiary. Don’t worry, the SSC is not building a weapon platform in space: they are using optical lasers instead of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites to address the problems of intermittent radio frequency (RF) communication interruptions and power consumption. Radio
The goal, Sony said, is to enable real-time communication in space from the group. There is another practical advantage: Optical communication is not as licensed as RF communication.
Kiyohei Yawamoto, president of Sony Space Communications Corporation, outlined the challenges in a statement.
“Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites need to communicate with the ground, so real-time communication requires a large number of communication facilities, which is problematic because these satellites must pass directly over a ground station to communicate with it. In addition, the frequency for radio waves. The need for licensing and the low power consumption of communication equipment such as micro-satellites, such as micro-satellites, should also be addressed, “said Yawamoto.
To combat this, SSC’s strategy is to develop optical communications equipment to assist microsatellites parked in low Earth orbit.
“Using optical communication, SSC aims to realize high-speed communication with small devices, which is physically difficult to achieve through conventional radio communication because conventional communication requires large antennas and high power output,” Sony explained.
Sony has no timeline when it plans to offer new products or specifically its customers, but Sony says the technology is proven. Sony has tested the technology using Kibo, an experimental module installed on the International Space Station (ISS). Sony has successfully tested small optical links for the International Space Station (SOLISS) in 2020.
Sony’s campaign is a breakthrough for the growing non-terrestrial network (NTN) market. NTN players are jockeying for the convenience of banking, early movers on the future growth of 5G. 5G support for NTN makes it possible to build networks using high-altitude platforms (HAPS) and LEO satellite arrays. Several companies are developing solutions and testing technologies designed to support HAPS and LEO 5G networks.
NTN’s commitment is to provide 5G bandwidth and services in geographic areas where terrestrial cellular network infrastructure is impractical – open oceans, for example, populated rural areas or remote locations far from developed infrastructure.