Sony To Launch Optical Communications Devices For Microsatellites

Sony optical communications devices

Recently, Japanese Sony which is known for designing and manufacturing various digital components and commercial products established a new company. The Sony Space Communications Corporation (SSC) will design and make optical communications devices for space companies.

What Are Optical Communications Devices And What Are They For?

At present, there are about 12,000 satellites in space. This number will increase in the future. The amount of data used in orbit is also increasing year by year. However, the amount of radio waves available is not infinite as well.

Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites need to communicate with the ground. This requires extensive communications infrastructure to communicate in real-time. This is a serious problem because the satellites have to pass directly over ground stations to communicate with them. There is another issue. Small satellites require frequency licensing of radio waves to achieve low energy consumption.

To address these issues, SSC plans to develop small optical communications devices. They will provide related services by connecting microsatellites in low-Earth orbit via laser beams.

Sony space technologies

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These optical communications devices are for companies that do business or research in satellite development. The SSC optical communications devices will enable high-speed communication between small satellites. This is physically difficult to achieve with traditional radio communications devices. That’s because the latter requires large antennas and high power output.

Furthermore, by building an optical communication network not only between satellites and the ground but also between satellites in orbit, SSC aims to enable real-time communication from anywhere on the ground to any satellite in space. Other than that, SSC’s optical communications devices are also easier to make and control rather than traditional RF communications devices. The reason is that the new optical commutation doesn’t require domain-specific licenses like radio communications.

According to Sony, the SSC aims to promote the wide application of cosmic optical communication and contribute to improving the convenience of people’s lives by expanding social and economic activities.

This Is Not A New Project

In fact, Sony has been working on this project long ago. We can even say that Sony uses not a new technology. It just applies the optical disc technology. Sony used it for many years in the development and production of CD players and other products. This technology will help Sony to make optical communications devices “that are ultra-compact, lightweight, mass-producible, and can withstand harsh environments such as space.”

The optical communications devices will help the industry develop more rapidly, taking space technologies to the next level.

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