Facebook is building observatories for laser communication with satellites

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On the snow-capped top of California’s mount Wilson there were many famous observatories. For example, until 1949 it was equipped with Hooker telescope, and in 2004 it was equipped with CHARA optical interferometer. At the moment, two new observatories are being built on it, which, although not intended for space exploration, will still certainly go down in history. Construction is engaged in a small company PointView Tech which, attention, is part of Facebook.

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Facebook Internet satellite

It is reported that the Observatory will be designed to establish laser communication with the Athena satellite. It is known that it will be used to distribute the Internet to underdeveloped regions of the planet. Previously, the company wanted to use unmanned vehicles Aquila, but in June 2018, the project was closed.

The company has long been interested in laser and optical methods of information transmission. She sees at least two of their advantages over the radio frequency method: first, they provide an increased speed of data transmission, and secondly-they are well protected from interference and hacking. However, there is one big disadvantage that can greatly worsen the connection — laser beams hardly pass through the thick layers of clouds.

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Details about the upcoming technology distribution of the Internet is not shared either Facebook or employees PointView Tech. Some of the information is known only from scientific articles: in particular, they mentioned the use of research results in the field of satellite and aerospace communications to promote the Facebook project on the globalization of the Internet.

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The company has already tested laser communication between earth and air using Mynaric equipment. When transferring data from the ground station to a small plane, the speed was more than 10 gigabits per second. It is known that the construction of observatories on mount Wilson began in July 2018. Perhaps Facebook is still working with the German firm Mynaric and is preparing for a new stage of testing.


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