Mynaric has developed equipment for transmitting data via laser between moving airborne or space platforms at rates similar to conventional optical fibre, but with the light transmitted through free space rather than along a cable. This opens the possibility of equipping the airborne networks proposed by Facebook and Google, or the satellite networks supported by Elon Musk and Richard Branson with high speed optical data links rather than slower microwave connections. These proposed networks offer the opportunity of providing more data transmission in the developed world without needing to install more fibre-optic cable and extending internet access to the half of the world’s population who are not connected.

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