Aircision beams old tech into the future

Collin Arocho
Leestijd: 4 minuten

In 1880, Alexander Graham Bell provided the first proof of concept for free-space optics. Using his invention, dubbed the ‘photophone’, he proved that beams of light could carry voice conversation through free space, aka, the air. In 2019, Eindhoven start-up, Aircision, is ready to add their modifications to bring this technology into the future, specifically for the upcoming roll-out of 5G.

Aircision recently announced plans to test their modification to existing free-space optics (FSO) technology, with the ultimate goal of using their solution to bolster the roll-out of 5G. The Eindhoven-based start-up has big plans to upgrade line-of-sight laser beam technology for next-generation telecommunications. Thanks to a partnership between the high-tech business incubator, HightechXL, and CERN, they’re one step closer to putting their product to the test.

FSO is a relatively simple technology. Conceptually, using lasers to send and receive data is like that of optical transmissions using fiber-optic cables. The biggest difference is the medium: air rather than glass. The technology is based on connectivity between FSO units, each consisting of an optical transceiver with a laser transmitter and a receiver to provide bi-directional capability. Current units use a high-power optical source that translates data into laser pulses and sends them through a lens, through the atmosphere to another lens. This lens connects to a high-sensitivity receiver via optical fiber, where the transmitted data can then be processed.

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