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in “ Tech news in brief ”,
January 26, 2021.

SpaceX adds lasers to its satellites

Telecommunication network.

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SpaceX has begun launching Starlink satellites with laser links that will help provide broadband coverage in polar regions. These satellites have laser links between the satellites, so no ground stations are needed in remote or inaccessible areas. Inter-satellite links allow satellites to transfer communications at light speed from one satellite to another, either in the same orbital plane or an adjacent plane. The laser links are included in 10 Starlink satellites just launched into polar orbits. The launch came two weeks after SpaceX received Federal Communications Commission approval to launch the 10 satellites into polar orbits at an altitude of 560km. “All sats launched next year will have laser links”, Musk wrote in a tweet yesterday, indicating that the laser systems will become standard on Starlink satellites in 2022 and that they could benefit regions other than the earth’s poles.

Ars Technica, Jon Brodkin, “SpaceX adds laser links to Starlink satellites to serve Earth’s polar areas.”



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