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A.

GAP ANALYSIS

Communication Systems have reckoned on radio communications technology to

communicate with space crafts since the space age began. The invention of the laser in 1960

revolutionized this form of communication by providing an intense and narrow beam of focused

light. Lasers are currently in essential use in data communications because even with improbable

advances in Radio Frequency communications systems, it becomes lagging and outmode because

this beam could travel much greater distances with much less attenuation, laser was first use for

communication in space.

FREE SPACE COMMUNICATION

After a month-long transit to the Moon and a 40-day spacecraft checkout, the laser

communications experiments were performed over three months during late 2013 and early 2014.

The first-ever use of gigabit laser-based communication as part of the EDRS or European Data

Relay System was carried out together with the further operational services and system. The

system EU Sentinel-1A Satellite in LEO was transmitted through an optical link to the ESA-

Inmarsat Alphasat in GEO. (“Laser Link Offers High-Speed Delivery”. ESA. 28 November 2014)

(“First image download over new gigabit laser connection in space”. Airbus Defence and Space.

5 December 2014)

NASA’s OPALS announced a breakthrough in space-to-ground laser communication,

uploading at a speed of 400 megabits per second. OPALS launched to the space station aboard a

SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule in April. The payload was able to establish an optical

communication link when its laser locked onto a ground beacon emitted by the Optical
Communications Telescope Laboratory’s ground station at JPL’s Table Mountain Observatory.

The technology uses a beacon with four individual lasers to average the effects of atmospheric

turbulence. OPALS had its first success on June 5, a night pass lasting 148 seconds. (Landau,

Elizabeth – 9 December 2014. “OPALS: Light Beams Let Data Rates Soar”. NASA.)

Google X, a research and development facility and organization founded by Google in

2010, announced to have successfully built and achieved a laser communication connection

between two stratosphere balloons. As a part of Project Loon, an aerial wireless network with up

to 4G-LTE speeds, it established a date rate of 155 megabit-per-second optical connection between

two balloons more than 100 kilometers apart. The technology has connection that is said to be

stable over many hours and during day and nighttime. (Metz, Cade – 24 February 2016. “Google

Laser-Beams the Film Real Genius 60 Miles Between Balloons”. WIRED.)

Deep Space Laser Communications will be tested and performed on the Psyche mission, a

journey to a unique metal asteroid orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, to the main-belt

asteroid 16 Psyche, one of the ten most massive asteroids in the asteroid belt. As a "game changing"

technology demonstration, DSOC is exactly that. NASA STMD's Game Changing Development

Program funded the technology development phase of DSOC. It is planned to launch in 2022.

(Greicius, Tony – 14 September 2017. “Psyche Overview”. NASA.) (“Deep Space

Communications via Faraway Photons”. NASA News. 18 October 2017)

In collaboration with Mynaric, a manufacturer of laser communication equipment for

airborne and spaceborne communication networks, Facebook’s Connectivity Laboratory has

achieved a two-way or bidirectional 10 Gigabit-per-second air-to-ground connection. The tests

took place from a conventional Cessna aircraft in 9 m distance. The uplink worked easily and
achieved 100% throughput at all times while the downlink throughput occasionally dropped to

about 96% due to non-ideal software parameter. (Price, Rob – 29 June 2018. “Facebook tested

plane-mounted lasers that fire super high-speed internet over California”. Business Insider.)

Lincoln Laboratory are aiming to once again perform an experiment by applying the laser

beam technology used in LLCD or Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration to underwater

communication to break their record nearly five years ago, using a laser beam to transmit data

from a satellite orbiting the moon to Earth. To test their underwater optical communications

capability, six members of the team recently completed a demonstration of precision beam

pointing and fast acquisition between two moving vehicles. Their tests proved that two underwater

vehicles could search for and locate each other in the pool within one second. Once linked, the

vehicles could potentially use their established link to transmit hundreds of gigabytes of data in

one session. (Parde, Nathan – 17 August 2018. “Advancing Undersea Optical Communications”.

MIT News)

FIBER OPTICS COMMUNICATION

Fiber Optic Network was launched formally at the National Science and Technology

week arranged by the Department of Science and Technology in the Philippines. The adoption of

fiber optic technology will not only help government agencies coordinate and communicate faster

but also it aims to facilitate other necessary services like cloud computing, web hosting, data center

co-location, email and online security. Their project called “iGovPhil”, composing different

projects, is considered to be the building blocks in the foundation of an e-government.

(“Government to Launch Fiber Optic Network at NSTW. DICT. 21 July 2014)