Free Space Optics :: Technology

How it Works

FlightStrata Illustration FSO technology is surprisingly simple. It’s based on connectivity between FSO-based optical wireless units, each consisting of an optical transceiver with a transmitter and a receiver to provide full-duplex (bi-directional) capability. Each optical wireless unit uses an optical source, plus a lens or telescope that transmits light through the atmosphere to another lens receiving the information. At this point, the receiving lens or telescope connects to a high-sensitivity receiver via
optical fiber.

This FSO technology approach has a number of advantages:

  • Requires no RF spectrum licensing.
  • Is easily upgradeable, and its open interfaces support equipment from a variety of vendors, which helps enterprises and service providers protect their investment in embedded telecommunications infrastructures.
  • Requires no security software upgrades.
  • Is immune to radio frequency interference or saturation.
  • Can be deployed behind windows, eliminating the need for costly rooftop rights.

FSO: Optical or Wireless?

Free Space Optics in use in Los Angeles Speed of fiber — flexibility of wireless.
Optical wireless, based on FSO-technology, is an outdoor wireless product category that provides the speed of fiber, with the flexibility of wireless. It enables optical transmission at speeds of up to 1.25 Gbps and, in the future, is capable of speeds of 10 Gbps using WDM. This is not possible with any fixed wireless or RF technology. Optical wireless also eliminates the need to buy expensive spectrum (it requires no FCC or municipal license approvals worldwide), which further distinguishes it from fixed wireless technologies. Moreover, FSO technology’s narrow beam transmission is typically two meters versus 20 meters and more for traditional, even newer radio-based technologies such as millimeter-wave radio. Optical wireless products’ similarities with conventional wired optical solutions enable the seamless integration of access networks with optical core networks and helps to realize the vision of an
all-optical network.

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