Lasers enable internet backbone via satellite

Lasers enable internet backbone via satellite

Optical data communications lasers can transmit several tens of terabits per second, despite a huge amount of disruptive air turbulence.

ETH Zurich scientists and their European partners demonstrated this capacity with lasers between the mountain peak, Jungfraujoch, and the city of Bern in Switzerland.

This will soon eliminate the necessity of expensive deep-​sea cables.

The researchers tested data transmission by laser over 53 kilometres from the Jungfraujoch to Zimmerwald near Bern. (Photograph: ETH Zurich)

  • Scientists at ETH Zurich have demonstrated terabit optical data transmission through the air in a European Horizon 2020 project.

  • The project partners tested their laser system not with a satellite in orbit, but through a transmission over 53 kilometres (33 miles) from the Jungfraujoch to Bern.

  • In the future, this technology will make it possible to create backbone connections via near-​Earth satellite constellations that are significantly less costly than deep-​sea cables.

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