Mitsubishi Electric Develops World’s First Laser Communication Terminal Integrating Space Optical Communication and Spatial Acquisition

TOKYO–()–Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced today that it has developed the prototype of what is believed to be the world’s first* optical receiver for use in laser communication terminals (LCTs), that integrates space optical communication using laser beams and a function to detect the direction of received beams in the 1.5-μm band, a general-purposeband used for terrestrial optical fiber communications and other applications.

High-resolution satellite imagery is used to assess damage caused by disasters, but since such images are transmitted via radio waves it has been difficult to transmit high-resolution images in real time due to limitations in data capacity and the size of satellite antennas. Large-capacity, high-speed space optical communications that do not require optical fiber are thus required to support fast and accurate damage assessments following disasters. But space optical communications use very narrow laser beams, about 1/1000th of that of radio waves, so the challenge has been how to precisely align laser beams with satellites traveling at high speed.

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