Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » F »

free space optics

Free space optics technology (abbreviated as FSO), also referred to as open-air photonics or optical wireless or infrared broadband, transmits data from point-to-point and multipoint using low-powered infrared lasers. Unlike traditional copper wires or fiber-optic technology, which transmits data by light across glass, FSO uses laser technology to send optical signals through the air using lenses and mirrors to focus and redirect the beams and send data from one chip to another. And unlike radio frequencies, FSO technology does not require a spectrum license.

An FSO system uses optical amplifiers and a telescope that sends multiple wavelengths of light in direct line of sight through the atmosphere to another telescope waiting to receive the information. The receiving telescope is connected to a highly sensitive receiver through an optical fiber and a DWDM demultiplexer. Since the system is bidirectional, each telescope can simultaneously send and receive information. The only weather condition that affects an FSO transmission is fog. Fog can corrupt the direct line of sight between the two telescopes because the moisture particles in the air are so small and dense that they act as millions of tiny prisms dissipating the band of light sent from the laser.

Free space optics provides a higher bandwidth to the end user at a faster speed. The photons transmitted by the laser are much quicker than electrons moving along a wire and they can pass straight through each other, which charge-bearing electrons cannot do. Because of this, large amounts of data, such as IP -based voice and video, can be transmitted through a narrow corridor of space.

 

 







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
11 Tips to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal

It's not just your lawnmower and household tools that your neighbor won't return. Our top picks include everything from updating device firmware... Read More »

Interesting Times: Transformation in the IT Channel

Business transformation will remain the buzzword of the moment as channel firms continue to assess the direction of their companies in the age of... Read More »

What is a Virtual Private network (VPN)?

Companies and organizations will use a VPN to communicate confidentially over a public network and to send voice, video or data. Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »

Network Fundamentals Study Guide

A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »

Computer Architecture Study Guide

This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »