July 20, 2024

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How Greece is leading the next generation of satellite communications through laser technology

How Greece is leading the next generation of satellite communications through laser technology

With the Telecommunications infrastructure It has now become an important part of our daily life, and the question is to improve its quality. We may be busy enough with earthly engagements but there are many who have their eyes on heaven. Use Satellites to Telecommunications Communications It is starting to become more intense but the next generation of satellite communications will use laser technology. There it seems that Greece was able to be at the forefront.

“Europe wants to be a leader in the next generation of satellite communications,” says Dr. Spyros Vassilakos, Director of the Institute of Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing (IAADET) and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Observatory of Athens (EAA). For this reason, the European Space Agency (ESA/ESA) set out to establish the strategic program ARTES: Optical Communications-ScyLight, which supports the research, development and development of optical, photonic and quantum communications technologies. The identified sectors constitute the three main strategic pillars for space broadband supported by ESA Member States.

The goals of the ScyLight program are to design and use innovative technology by which communications satellites will communicate with each other as well as with ground stations through optical radiation (lasers) rather than radio waves that are still in use today. “To achieve these lofty goals, ESA has chosen to cooperate through IAADET with EAA, and more specifically to use the largest telescope in the Balkans, the Aristarchus (2.3 meters in diameter) at the Helmos Observatory as the first ground-based telescope with the aim of observing communications satellites and recording the information that they will broadcast at optical wavelengths. “Dr. points out. Vasilakos.

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ScyLight is the basis for the design of a communications satellite network (“fiber in the sky”) which, through “optical technology,” is expected to dramatically increase current communications speeds as well as the security of information transmission. In this network there will be ground stations (in this case optical telescopes) that will, through lasers, collect information from satellites and transmit it to communications networks on Earth.

What is the big advantage of this technology? Quite simply, data transfer speeds can be increased 10 to 100 times! Which means data transfer speeds could reach 100 Gbps initially and 1 Gbps in the distant future. This is why the recent signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the National Observatory of Athens and HellasSat is so important. The aim and purpose of the memorandum is the cooperation of the Institute of Astrophysics for Space Applications and Remote Sensing (IAADET) of the EAA with Hellas Sat, the national satellite provider, in the field of new technologies in particular optical and quantum technologies. Communications. The ultimate goal is to conduct test links with the Aristarchus and Cryonrio telescopes, to provide measurements that contribute to the design of future optical/quantum communication systems that will be activated in the future satellite planned by HellasSat.

As Christodoulos Protopapas, managing director of Hellas Sat, told CNN Greece, the collaboration concerns the HELLAS SAT 5 satellite, which is scheduled to be launched in 2027. “This technology is now starting to be tested on geostationary satellites and provides data at very high speeds.” traffic but also their safe transportation. We want to be a leader in this field and that is why we have entered into this specific cooperation with the National Observatory,” adds Mr. Protopapas, stressing that this is a very important cooperation for Greece’s position on the global map of satellite communications.

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According to Dr. Vassilakou, laser communication technology is ideal for satellites because they require less space, are lighter structures and require less energy consumption to operate. Optical communications also do not “suffer” from interference and eavesdropping problems since in relation to the radio frequencies used all around us, laser communications have a much smaller beam and as a result do not easily interfere with each other.

As for the services that will be provided in the future, they primarily include interconnection and integration of space systems on the model of interconnection achieved today in fixed and mobile terrestrial communications networks. As well as supporting terrestrial networks and providing communications services in large events that require a strong communications infrastructure (such as sporting events such as the Olympic Games) and in cases where a significant increase in load on terrestrial networks is observed. However, providing services for search and rescue operations and in emergency situations (such as natural disasters) will be very important, as will covering remote areas with high-speed communications services.