Laser Communications System

"A one way laser communications system that is capable of the transmission of both text and sound."

Introduction

Laser communications systems are wireless connections through the atmosphere. They work similarly to fiber optic links, except the beam is transmitted through free space. While the transmitter and receiver must require line-of-sight conditions, they have the benefit of eliminating the need for broadcast rights and buried cables. Laser communications systems can be easily deployed since they are inexpensive, small, low power and do not require any radio interference studies. The carrier used for the transmission signal is typically generated by a laser diode. Two parallel beams are needed, one for transmission and one for reception. Due to budget restrictions, the system implemented in this project is only one way.

Laser communications have been a hot topic lately, as solutions for how to satisfy ever increasing bandwidth needs are in high demand. Some have suggested that bandwidth could be distributed in neighborhoods by putting laser communication systems on top of homes and pointing them towards a common transceiver with a fast link to the Internet. With possible transmit speeds of up to a gigabit per second, this is an exciting area. Other applications for this technology include temporary connectivity needs (e.g. sporting events, disaster scenes, or conventions), or space based communications.

2003 Keith Carter, Michael Muccio