Diagram of comms satellites linked by lasers

Diagram of comms satellites linked by lasers

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This image is part of the feature Laser Comsats

Credit: JULIAN BAUM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Laser satellite communication. Artwork of the 'laser bridge' concept for linking communications satellites in orbit. At present (1995), long- distance communication is achieved by bouncing signals back and forth between Earth and a number of satellites. The 'laser bridge' idea is to send the message up to one satellite, then by infared laser beam along a chain of others. The signal is not sent back to Earth until it can go straight to the recipient. The laser system will allow a hundredfold increase in data transfer rates. And transfer will be secure since the laser signals are almost impossible to intercept. A military version of the system will go on trial from 1997.

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Keywords: artwork, comms satellites, communication, communication satellite, communications, comsats, data transfer, laser, laser bridge, laser communication, satellite, satellite communication

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