Free Space Optics Advantages and Disadvantages

The free space optics advantages and disadvantages are worth exploration. After all, whenever a new method of modern communication is developed it is important to consider all the positives and negatives that come along with it.

There are many advantages to free space optics. Among these are the lower costs associated with the system. There are no fiber optic cables to lay, no expensive rooftop installations required, and no security upgrades necessary. In addition, the system upgrades are generally made quite easily and no RF license is required.

Another advantage of free space optical communication is that it is incredibly fast. These systems can currently transmit a large amount of data, 1.25 GB per second. In the future it is expected that this will increase to a whopping 10 GB per second.

This speed is due to the fact that the signals can be transmitted through the air faster than they can be transmitted through fiber optic cables. The signals are sent from one wireless unit to another in a direct line through the atmosphere.

Yet another benefit of free space optics is that there is no interference of the signal by radio frequencies. This means fewer disruptions to the information flow.

When it comes to free space optics advantages and disadvantages, there are also a number of drawbacks. Free space optical communication is subject to atmospheric disturbances and conditions.

Thick fog is one of the most problematic forms of interference for wireless optical communication that is based on free space optics. This is because the moisture in the fog can reflect, absorb, and scatter the signal.

Absorption and scattering can both occur whenever there is a lot of moisture in the air. Absorption of the signal causes a decrease in signal strength. Scattering does not cause a decrease in signal strength, but rather causes the signal to be sent off in different directions. This is an issue particularly over long distances.

When it comes to free space optics advantages and disadvantages, physical obstructions can also be a problem. These are generally temporary and include birds, cranes, and even building sway that results from earthquakes. Scintillation, which is heat rising from the earth or something man-made, can also disrupt the signal.

There have also been concerns about the level of safety of free space optical communication due to the use of lasers. This is of concern particularly when it comes to eye safety and to the high voltages required to power the systems. However, there have been strict regulations put into effect to minimize the risks.

Overall, when it comes to free space optics advantages and disadvantages, the plusses outweigh the minuses. To have a reliable and less expensive method of wireless communication is of the utmost importance in today's mobile society and free space optics makes this possible.