Facebook could be building 'space lasers' to boost satellite communications

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

In theory, this tech would pave the way for faster data transfer speeds than traditional radio signals, while also boasting some major security improvements (it's much harder to hack a laser, after all).

What Facebook plans to use PointView's work for is unknown, but it's possible that the company hopes a laser communication system will help it bring high-speed internet to areas that don't already have it.

Speculation aside, what actual evidence is there that PointView (and Facebook) is working on such tech? Construction documents obtained by Spectrum IEEE reveal that PointView has been building two "detached" observatories on Mount Wilson in California for some time now - development allegedly began as early as July 2018.

Though the exact contents of those observatories have not yet been disclosed, all tertiary evidence seems to point toward communication-oriented space lasers. Previous tests conducted by Facebook that utilized similar technology have been successful in the past, and scientific papers published by some of Facebook's top researchers throughout 2017 and 2018 describe "orbital laser" technology.

Regardless, we'll know what PointView is truly working on when it launches its project -- codenamed "Athena" -- sometime in the coming months.

Image courtesy McDonald Observatory

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
As simple a negative comment this might be, I think it has some merit. Allowing private companies to be so deeply entrenched in backbone services runs a serious risk of private companies being in a position to exert tremendous pressure on government to get what they want. ie: Google says "you buy our new google missles or we'll cut off all world wide communications". Now you may laugh but consider it. After all, what would stop them?
Power corrupts, absolute power absolutely corrupts ..... and we've seen plenty of that lately ......
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Hey, with that system, they could change their sales pitch to something like:

"Facebook now brings you your fake news, cyber-bullying, superficial friend requests, and collects your personal data, all at the speed of light"
. :eek: :facepalm: