Polish scientists have developed a new method for optical laser communication. This new technology will improve communication range and minimise interference during data transmission.

2018-03-27  |  06:00
Says:Major Tadeusz Drozd, PhD Eng
Company:Institute of Optoelectronics, Military University of Technology
  • MP4
  • Contrary to continuous wave lasers commonly used in data transmission, the Polish invention will use pulsed lasers. This will ensure a significantly greater range and minimise interference during data transmission. Experts from the Institute of Optoelectronics, Military University of Technology (WAT), are working on employing this new technology in laser distance meters to allow soldiers to communicate in difficult terrain and during radio silence.  NASA has taken an Interest in optical data transmission technology as well.

    Currently available optical data transmission systems usually use continuous wave laser technology. They offer very fast transmission, up to tens of Gb/s. But pulsed lasers are able to generate pulse waves which are several dozen times stronger, which translates into a greater range of transmission and facilitates transmission in much more difficult weather conditions,” said Major Tadeusz Drozd, PhD Eng, from the Institute of Optoelectronics, Military University of Technology, in an interview with Newseria Innowacje news agency.

    Pulsed lasers are commonly used in military systems, medicine and industry.  Scientists are working on applying this technology in data transmission. Communication and rapid data transfer using pulsed lasers could constitute additional functionalities in devices which already employ such lasers for other purposes, e.g., in laser distance meters found in various military systems.

    “We would like to equip soldiers in distance meters with a built-in data transmission functionality.  In addition to the direct connectivity between distance meters, this will enable transmission from devices connected to such distance meters, e.g. video transmissions between soldiers in the field with the use of laptops or tablets. Due to the specific parameters of laser radiation, the small divergence of the generated beam, the invisibility of the spectrum range of (infrared) radiation, data and speech transmissions on a battlefield are almost impossible to tap or disrupt,” Major Tadeusz Drozd explained.

    The new technology can also have non-military applications, for instance as a transmission link where range and reliability are essential and the transmission time is of secondary importance. Resistance to difficult weather conditions is one of its strong assets.

    Laser communication has become an object of interest NASA. A project of a laser transmitter is being developed to form part of the Deep Space Optical Communications instrument. The capabilities of the system will be tested during the Psyche mission in 2022, when a probe will be sent to the main asteroid belt in the Solar System in order to collect the data necessary to gain detailed insights into the origin of planets and other celestial bodies.

    According to MarketsandMarkets analysts, the global laser technology market will be worth nearly USD 15.5 bn by 2022. The greatest increase will be observed in the applications of lasers in optical communication.



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