Amazon to Connect Kuiper Satellites with Laser Links to Boost Space Internet Network
Amazon has announced that it will include optical inter-satellite links, also known as laser links, in its Project Kuiper internet satellites. Laser links connect satellites to each other, improving the speed and latency of the network. Amazon successfully tested the laser link technology during its recent prototype mission.
Amazon to Enhance Project Kuiper with Laser Links
Amazon has revealed its plans to include optical inter-satellite links in its upcoming Project Kuiper internet satellites. These links, also known as laser links, enable satellites to connect with each other in orbit. The laser link technology was tested successfully during Amazon's recent prototype mission.
Traditionally, satellites can only send data from the spacecraft to the ground. However, laser links allow for data transmission between satellites, improving the speed and latency of the network. This technology has already been implemented by SpaceX in its later generations of Starlink satellites.
Rajeev Badyal, Amazon's Project Kuiper Vice President of Technology, stated that with optical inter-satellite links, Project Kuiper will operate as a mesh network in space. The use of laser links will significantly enhance the performance of Amazon's satellite constellation.
Successful Laser Link Tests and Future Plans
Amazon's Kuiper prototype satellites successfully completed multiple tests of the laser link technology. These tests demonstrated data transmission at speeds of 100 Gbps over a distance of nearly 621 miles between the spacecraft. The optical inter-satellite links allow data to travel approximately 30% faster than through terrestrial fiber optic cables.
For the production of its commercial Kuiper satellites, Amazon plans to include laser links from the outset. The network will consist of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit. Amazon has already ordered 97 rocket launches to deploy its satellites in the first half of next year. The company anticipates investing over $10 billion in the construction of Kuiper.
The implementation of laser links in Project Kuiper will greatly enhance the capabilities of Amazon's space-based internet network, providing faster and more reliable connectivity to users around the world.