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Mitsubishi Electric demonstrates light source module for high-capacity laser links
Cutting-edge Mitsubishi Electric laser communication terminal with enhanced capabilities. File image.
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Mitsubishi Electric demonstrates light source module for high-capacity laser links
by Staff Writers
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Jun 20, 2023

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has successfully demonstrated laser optical frequency control using a new light source module, a key component of an envisioned high-capacity laser optical communication network to be deployed in outer space.

The module, which produces a 1.5-um wavelength signal, was installed in the OPTIMAL-1 nanosatellite developed through an industry-academia collaboration and released from the International Space Station (ISS) on January 6. The use of a nanosatellite enabled the demonstration to be carried out faster and at lower cost than using a conventional large satellite.

Mitsubishi Electric has been developing space-based optical technologies that are expected to increase data capacity (by ten times or more) as well as communication speeds and distances compared to systems that use radio waves.

Satellite images are increasingly being used for purposes such as assessing conditions in post-disaster areas and the state of remote forestry resources. Existing radio-wave satellite communication systems are limited in terms of capacity, speed and distance, so new optical systems offering improved communications capabilities are required for faster and higher-resolution assessments from space.

Advanced systems that use laser signals are expected to be increasingly adopted not only for their superior communications capabilities but also for using wavelengths shorter than radio waves, which allows the use of relatively small and easily installed terrestrial antennas.

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