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What next for laser-based optical communications in orbit?

The ESA's optical ground station

The European Space Agency’s optical ground station in Tenerife (Image: ESA)

Laser-based optical communications in orbit could bring high-speed data to the most remote regions but it comes with many challenges.

Optical fibres are the backbone of the world’s communication networks, enabling the transmission of data across the globe. The demand for fast, affordable connectivity is increasing, but about a third of the world’s population was still without access to the internet in 2024, according to DataReportal.

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