Laser communication system successfully tested in Africa: 700 TB of data transferred over 5 km

Alphabet Holding, which owns Google, is the originator of the Project Taara initiative. Its task is to make the Internet more accessible. A laser communication system was recently tested in the Congo.

Baris Erkmen (reported on the successful launch of a laser communication system in Africa on the Congo River. It is reported that in less than three weeks the system transmitted about 700 TB of data over a distance of about 5,000 m.

This is not the first attempt by Alphabet to make the Internet more accessible. In January 2021, the holding closed the previous Project Loon initiative. She became famous for the development of a system for providing Internet access using helium balloons. Despite the failure of the project, engineers continued to develop some of the technologies that appeared during its implementation. One of them is Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC). It provided communication with balloons at high altitude using lasers.

FSOC technology is a wireless analog of fiber optic lines, and in the line of sight, it allows you to establish communication at speeds of more than 20 Gbps.

For almost three weeks, about 700 TB of data was transferred via the laser communication channel. The system was tested between Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Communication was carried out across the river using lasers. This territory in Africa was chosen not so much because of the difficult climatic conditions of the climate, but because of the deep and fast river. Despite the fact that the cities are located at a short distance from each other – several kilometers in a straight line, a fiber-optic connection would require about 400 km of cable.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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