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Facebook Proposes New Optical Detector to Enable Free-Space Laser Communication

Luminescent detector for free-space optical communication – Published today in a scientific journal, Facebook has proposed "a new type of optical detector that could simplify the technology behind free-space laser communication and enable high-speed connectivity in areas where traditional infrastructure is difficult to build." The results of the research have been published today in the journal Optica.

— "The challenges of laser communication" / Facbook Connectivity Lab's Thibault Peyronel and Tobias Tiecke explain: "Most wireless telecommunications use the radio frequency part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Free-space laser communication operates in the visible and infrared light range, where it benefits from less interference with neighboring communication systems and can potentially provide higher data transmission rates. In addition, this portion of the spectrum is not regulated, allowing for faster deployments and globally applicable solutions."

— "We are currently developing prototypes to demonstrate the advantages of this approach and study its performance in real-world settings. Replacing expensive optics and precise motorized alignment systems with our luminescent detector paves the way for low-cost, rapidly deployable optical point-to-point links."

— Illustrated below is an omnidirectional luminescent detector – the sensitivity of the detector remains constant regardless of the direction of the incoming light. Source: Facebook

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