FSO (Free Space Optics) has multiple potential applications in both commercial and government networks. The need for increasingly higher bandwidth and economically viable data transmission solutions are driving demand for an alternative to RF (Radio Frequency). FSO (Free Space Optics) can deliver cost-effective connectivity and generate faster returns-on-investment (ROI) for service providers.
Regardless of whether data is collected over a geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO), low earth orbit (LEO) or medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite network, the data will need to be downlinked to a ground terminal for retrieval and dissemination. As traditional satellite RF (Radio Frequency) transmission links are relatively slow compared to FSO (Free Space Optics) links, optical may become the primary backbone to uplink and downlink satellite networks.
While FSO (Free Space Optics) ground terminals are likely to be deployed initially in GEO (Geosynchronous Earth Orbit) to ground backhaul applications, future architectures will provide connectivity of users in GEO (Geosynchronous Earth Orbit), LEO (Low Earth Orbit) and MEO (Medium Earth Orbit) satellite networks. These architectures can be deployed in point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, ring or mesh network configurations as a faster substitute for traditional RF (Radio Frequency) data transmission connections. FSO (Free Space Optics) communications are anticipated to play a major role in future NASA and commercial industry programs.