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Proceedings Paper

Do future commercial broadband communication satellites really need laser-communication intersatellite links (ISLs)?
Author(s): James E. Freidell
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Paper Abstract

Large commercial satellite programs requiring ISLs are growing in number and maturing. An important segment of the commercial satellite market, and its ISL needs, is discussed in the paper. ISL value will increase as long-haul terrestrial backbones become increasingly congested. Providing interregional and intercontinental connectivity via ISL presents far lower cost and fewer problems than relying on terrestrial fiber-optic networks. To demonstrate this, a new metric is proposed which allows 'apples-to- apples' cost/performance comparisons between laser communications in GEO, LEO, and terrestrial fiber-optics. ISL requirements in to the next decade are predicted >= 50-100 Gb/s full duplex. Many attitudinal changes must be embraced among those who choose to focus on this new commercial business. Foremost among these is a preponderance to delivering fully acceptable hardware fast and at low cost, as opposed to merely designing such. Considerable attention must be given business considerations foreign to professionals who have spent time in the government or government contracting sectors. Successful ISL customers will come to recognize that ISLs are not commodity products. Failure to embrace these attitudes will nonetheless constitute decision to which the commercial market, and particularly the financial market, will appropriately respond.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 April 1997
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2990, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies IX, (24 April 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.273687
Show Author Affiliations
James E. Freidell, Daedalian Technologies, Ltd. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2990:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies IX
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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