Re: super-fast freespace optics last-mile tech

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Thu Mar 02 2000 - 16:44:47 MST

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky writes:

> I'm skeptical. The whole reason for fiber optic cables is that air,
> dust, water drops, et cetera scatter laser light beyond retrieval. I

Yup. Strange that these people are based in Seattle, of all
places. High desert would have been more understandable...

> don't see any obvious way to get around that limitation; you'd have to
> use gamma-ray lasers, or neutrino lasers, or tachyon lasers, or such
> high-powered ordinary lasers that they'd punch through intervening
> airplanes as well as dust particles, and even then I'm not sure you

Transient outages from birds, raindrops etc. are caught by the
protocol. The high-power thingy starts rapidly backfiring when you hit
photon fluxes high enough to turn air into plasma (I seem to dimly
recall there is a self-focusing regime before that?). Of course you
can try to lift the fog in the area with an occasional H nuke... they
better patent that, too.

Line of sight laser links are great for space, though. Apart from
tracking issues, the thing to go for for LEO sat fleets.

> could get 1MHz useful data out of it. If this company has invented a
> workaround, they *deserve* a 20-year patent. But I'll believe it when I
> see it.

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