Free-Space Optics (FSO) is a technology that uses lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), or infrared-emitting diodes (IREDs) to transmit modulated infrared or visible light beams through the atmosphere to obtain broadband communications. This type of communication is an alternative to the use of cables as the medium of transmission.
Free-Space Optics works by creating a communication link between two locations through the use of laser or light-emitting beams. A transmitter is used to send a signal to a receiver, which is then decoded by the receiver. This type of communication is highly secure due to the difficulty of intercepting the signal and the high levels of encryption used.
The advantage of FSO over traditional cabled communications is that it is a much more cost-effective solution for many applications. As no cables are required, the cost of installation and maintenance is much lower, and the system can be deployed quickly. There is also no risk of signal degradation due to environmental conditions, as the signal is transmitted through the air.
In addition, FSO has a range of up to several kilometers, making it suitable for applications such as linking two remote locations. The speed of transmission is also very high, allowing for faster data transfer rates.
Despite these advantages, FSO does have some drawbacks. The beams can be easily blocked by obstacles such as buildings or trees, and the signal can be disrupted by weather conditions such as fog or heavy rain. Additionally, the signal is susceptible to interference from other sources such as aircraft or electric power lines.
Overall, Free-Space Optics is an efficient and cost-effective alternative to cabled communications for many applications.