Sony Corporation said it has created a new company tasked with building and supplying hardware that allows small satellites in orbit to communicate with each other via lasers, for immersion in the fast-growing space sector.
The company did not say when it expects to be its first commercial device operating in space. It also did not say whether it has existing clients waiting or how much money it has invested in the technology so far.
There are approximately 12,000 satellites in orbit, a number that is expected to increase rapidly in the coming years as rocket companies lower the cost of launching into space.
And companies like Amazon and SpaceX are building vast networks of satellites to carry Internet connections around the world.
“The amount of data used in orbit is increasing year by year,” the company’s new president, Kiyohe Iwamoto, said in a statement. But the amount of radio waves available is limited.
Low Earth orbit satellites need to communicate with Earth. As a result a large number of communication facilities are required for real-time communication, which is a problem because these satellites have to pass directly over a ground station to communicate with them.
The need for radio frequency licenses and lower power requirements for communication equipment needed by smaller satellites, such as small satellites, is one of the problems that must be addressed.
Sony makes space laser
SpaceX builds its laser communications hardware in-house. It was first launched via Starlink satellites late last year.
Sony said one of its first successful tests occurred in 2020 when it transmitted high-resolution laser image data from the International Space Station to a ground station in Japan.
Sony plans to develop small optical communication devices to provide related services to connect small satellites in low Earth orbit via a laser beam.
The company aspires to offer this optical communication equipment as a service to companies involved in developing satellites.
Sony wants to achieve high-speed communications with small devices using optical communications. Such connections are difficult to actually achieve using traditional wireless connections because traditional connections require a large antenna and high power output.
Sony also aims to increase the amount of communications in space. And realization of an Internet communication network covering land and space and applications such as real-time services. By providing easy-to-use satellite communications capabilities.