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ADVA Claims Free Space Data Transmission Record with Implications for Satellite Broadband

May 15, 2018 By Steve Senne in

Telecom equipment vendor ADVA and the German Aerospace Center have set a free space data transmission record using laser communications, according to ADVA.

The trial, which emulated a ground to geostationary link, sent 13.16 terabits per second (Tbps) of data over 10.45 kilometers. “This trial is a significant milestone in the evolution of stable, high-speed communication via satellite. It’s showing the industry that multi-Terabits of data can be transported every second via satellites using free-space laser communications,” Christoph Günther, the Director of the DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation, said in a press release. “One of our core aims is helping to achieve global connectivity and this test is a big part of realizing that goal.”

Free Space Data Transmission

The trial was conducted between Weilheim and a mock satellite on a mountain at Hohenpeißenberg, which is 10 km away. ADVA’s FSP 3000 CloudConnect was an element of the trial. It transported the huge amount of data while managing the extreme levels of atmospheric turbulence. DRL – which is the acronym for the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, the German Aerospace Center, developed free space terminal technology. It coupled a fast varying, distorted wavefront into a fiber that has a cross section smaller than a human hair.

In addition to the FSP 3000, the trial used ADVA’s QadFlex line cards, which support high order coherent modulation schemes. They enable each wavelength to carry 200 Gbps of data via 16 Quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) and strong soft-decision forward error correction. The atmospheric turbulence in the terrestrial link was equivalent to the worst case of what would be experienced in a true ground to geostationary satellite scenario, according to a press release.