FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 3613
Concept of space-based laser optical network for global communications
Newly developed light source module
TOKYO, June 20, 2023 - Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced today that it 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-µm wavelength signal, was installed in the OPTIMAL-11 nanosatellite developed through an industry-academia collaboration2 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.
Note that the press releases are accurate at the time of publication but may be subject to change without notice.