Some Doubt Optical Commercial Satcom Ready for Prime Time
Posted on: October 26, 2018

By: Matt Daneman
Communications Daily
October 25, 2018

A big hurdle for wider government and commercial use has been weather interference and the need to develop architectures that are resilient to that form of signal gradation, said Kevin Kelly, CEO of LGS Innovations, which makes optical amplifiers, modems, terminals and end-to-end systems for optical communications systems. “I feel we’re there; this is a technology ready for prime time,” he said. He said years of R&D by agencies like NASA and the Air Force helped refine the laser pointing systems and other tech and demonstrate its viability to the commercial market. Eventually, it will be the data backbone for satellites, given increasing spectrum crunches, though that transition will take years due to lifespans of satellites, he said. Optical, like high-frequency RF, also is vulnerable to atmospheric conditions, and requires a variety of ground sites in case one is covered by clouds, Belle said, noting weather issues are manageable: “It’s just a question of how you do that.”


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