Free space optics (FSO), also called Free-space photonics (FSP), is a technology line that uses lasers to provide optical bandwidth connections that transmit data for communication and computer networking. FSO is capable of voice and video communication through the air, allowing optical connectivity of several Gbps of data without requiring fiber-optic cable.
FSO also refers to transmitting infrared beams (IR) through the atmosphere to obtain broadband communications. FSO technology can function for several kilometers as long as there is a clear sight for signal transmission. FSO technology is also considered an alternative to a line-of-sight (LOS) communication system.
FSO communication can provide high data rates using links as a medium that helps transfer data from a few hundred meters to a few kilometers. These links act as a mediator, and they are as follows:
Indoor infrared (IR) or VLC,
Free-space laser communications, including airborne, deep space missions, and space-borne.
Free space optics technology is used daily in several applications, such as telescopes, lenses, lasers, and fiber optics.
What are the applications of Free Space Optics?
Frees Space Optics (FSO) is used for several purposes, such as
Point-to-point LOS links
Computer networking and telecommunication
Communication between spacecraft, including satellite constellation
Temporary Network Installation for specific event purposes
For Military applications such as the transfer of sensitive data to the air force
What are the Pros and Cons of Free Space Optics?
FSO is used for serval purposes, but there are some pros and cons of using FSO technology
Low error rates compared to other
High Bandwidth to cost ratio-
No need for License and regulations
Full Duplex Communication
Low initial investment
Low power usage per transmitted bit
Increase in pollution levels
What is the future of FSO technology?
The FSO technology requires less cost and time to set up. The demand for Free Space Optics is growing rapidly as global telecommunication companies launch advanced networks for better communication, such as 5G and 6G. The demand for FSO technology will grow significantly in the coming years as it is cheaper than other optic fibers and has easy installation. The increasing use of Artificial Intelligence in telecommunication can create new opportunities for FSO technology in the future for various applications.
The free space optics market size was valued at USD 1,566.65 Mn in 2022 and is estimated to reach USD 6,772.925 Mn by 2031, expanding at a CAGR of 40.1% during the forecast period 2023 – 2031. The market’s growth is attributed to the Increasing requirement for high-speed connectivity services and the acceptance rate of free space optical technology among internet service providers.
The demand for FSO technology is increasing in the telecommunication sector. It helps minimize the human interaction required for network configuration and maintenance. Moreover, Artificial technology offers cost-effective services with automation and other advanced options that can help the telecom industry save money.
Telecommunication companies are increasing across the globe as the need for better and faster network communication is also increasing, and integration of artificial intelligence in the telecommunication sector can open up new pathways for the use of free space optics in the coming years.
Global companies competing in the market are Evolv Technology Solutions, Inc.; H2O.ai; Infosys Limited; Salesforce.com, Inc.; NVIDIA Corporation; IBM Corporation; Microsoft; Intel Corporation; Google; AT&T Intellectual Property; Cisco Systems; and Nuance Communications, Inc.