Facebook builds observatories for laser communications with satellites

On the snow-capped peak of the California Wilsonmany famous observatories were located. For example, until 1949 the Hooker telescope was on it, and in 2004 it appeared on the optical CHARA interferometer. At the moment, two new observatories are being built on it, which, although not intended for space exploration, are still likely to go down in history. The construction is engaged in a small company PointView Tech which, attention, is part of Facebook.

It is reported that the observatory will be designedto establish a laser connection with the satellite Athena. It is known that it will be used to distribute the Internet to the underdeveloped regions of the planet. Previously, the company wanted to use Aquila unmanned aerial vehicles for this, but in June 2018 the project was closed.

The company has long been interested in laser andoptical methods of information transfer. She sees at least two of their advantages compared to the radio frequency method: firstly, they provide an increased data transfer rate, and secondly, they are well protected from interference and hacking. However, there is one big disadvantage that can greatly worsen the connection - laser beams hardly pass through thick layers of clouds.

Details about the upcoming distribution technologyNeither Facebook nor PointView Tech employees are sharing the Internet. Some of the information is known only from scientific articles: in particular, they mentioned the use of research results in the field of satellite and aerospace communications to promote the Facebook project on Internet globalization.

The company has already tested a laser connection betweenland and air using Mynaric equipment. When transferring data from the ground station to a small plane, the speed was more than 10 gigabits per second. It is known that the construction of observatories on Mount Wilson began in July 2018. Perhaps Facebook is still working with the German company Mynaric and is preparing for a new phase of testing.

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