The challenges Of a connected society
The future of communications
Laser Comm for Terrestrial and Space segments.
The Ultra-fast communications, the global Internet coverage, the information security, the new frontier of the Internet of Things and Quantum Communication.
That’s the future of communications and Officina Stellare is ready to face the challenge.
Laser Comm can be considered the future of communications and both New Space Economy players and Satellite constellations operators will benefit form it.
Among today’s major technical limitations in data transmission using traditional electro-magnetic radio-band emissions, there are:
- A limited security – the signal can, even if encrypted, easily be detected,
- Low energy efficiency,
- Limited availability of free channels,
- High latency.
These limitations can be overcome by using a laser light, for sending information.
The fast approaching technology of the Laser Communications will allow:
- A faster communication speed.
Readily available products make already possible to establish Gbit/sec class links, and, the barrier of the Tbit/sec will eventually be surpassed in the near future.
- A definitely increased efficiency of the links,
with less required power per transmitted bit.
- A more secured transmission of digital data and contents
including what the Quantum Key Distribution technology is promising.
- A “human safe” technology,
with no unused irradiated power at radio wavelengths.
Laser Comm is rapidly becoming the only serious contender to future-proof constellations launched into Low Earth Orbit (LEO), the only technology capable to interconnect satellites, aircrafts and drones.
While on the ground, it is one of the very few options to interconnect every place on Earth for all the future, high data throughput based applications.
Laser Comm is therefore rapidly evolving, thanks to the large investments made by telecommunications operators worldwide.
Officina Stellare is already very active alongside the major international teams that are trying to develop the new generation of optical transmission systems.
Some customers are already using Officina Stellare’s innovative products for some of the first data links created with these technologies.
A focus on Quantum Key Distribution
A very special niche
of this new generation of optical receiver / transmitter devices is the one used in the so-called Quantum Communication and Quantum Key distribution.
Today, everything is connected and connectivity underpins the world around us: transport, energy, health and trade are all pillars of modern society, and depend upon reliable communications. To protect our privacy and critical infrastructure, communication must be secure. Especially for governments and businesses, protecting internal information is critical for maintaining trusted relationships with our close relationships and worldwide partners. Experts are therefore exploring means to ensure secure communications to protect data and digital infrastructures and securely exchange sensitive information across States and Partners.
Secure communication requires cryptographic keys shared by two partners intending to communicate securely.
Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is a new tool that can dramatically help improve security.
The security of encryption based on QKD relies on quantum mechanics, that explains the interaction of matter and light at its deepest.
QKD demonstrated security is based on information theory and forward secrecy.
Anybody intercepting the quantum link established will perturbate it, corrupting the encryption key in manners that the users can therefore detect and discard.
The challenge of QKD is the approach to deliver keys to many users distributed over the world.
Acting at single photon level, QKD signal would degrade quickly over traditional terrestrial fibre networks, requiring to renew the set of keys every ~100 km, on a side driving infrastructure costs and but most notably generating vulnerability in the system.
Space based QKD services are the response to the need to establish long distance QKD links as they can reliably connect multitude of different users over large distances, completed by terrestrial network for e.g. last mile distributions.
Quantum Physics guarantees
that any interception will be detected and Quantum systems, especially photons, are ideal secure key carriers.
Special algorithms set for understanding the mechanisms of particle physics, will allow transmissions of small amounts of data between two points with the absolute certainty that the data received have not been detected by others and with the absolute certainty there’s not either been loss of information or possibility of error in the transmission itself.
Today this type of communication seems to be the most effective way, for example, to exchange encryption keys, or confirmation codes for synchronization, in the world of banking, finance andt he Defense domain.
Satellite Laser Ranging - SLR
Laser Ranging is a fundamental technology applied in Geodesy and Earth Sciences.
Laser Ranging is a fundamental technology of Geodesy and Earth Sciences which includes, among the others, the monitoring of the rotation parameters and the three-dimensional deformations of the Earth, the measurement of the variability over time of the Earth’s gravitational field, the observation of tectonic motion plates and support for Earth observation satellites through a precise determination of their orbit.
SRL contributes to monitoring Earth rotation and polar motion, Ocean and Earth tides, tectonic plates motion and horizontal and vertical crustal deformation. It also contributes to monitoring the response of the atmosphere to seasonal variations in solar heating and ice volume changes.
The technique uses the extremely precise measurement of the time taken by the pulses emitted by the laser transmitter in the round trip between the ground station and the retro-reflector mounted on board of satellites to define the distance of the same with great precision.
It is a particularly innovative ground station, designed for a very versatile use, different from the one specifically related to laser measurements, such as laser communications.
SRL stations are not new to Officina Stellare, which has been focusing on the development of more complex technology solutions for Earth Observation applications in recent years, thanks to its engineering team, the optical manufacturing lab, its skilled AIV team working with state-of-the-art technologies, which enable the company to keep the full production cycle is in-house.