Can earthbound fiber optics replace communication satellites?

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Main Question or Discussion Point

With the threat of satellites being blown up, would fiber optics offer a practical alternative for communications or other applications?
 

Answers and Replies

russ_watters
Mentor
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5,187
What threat? And yes.
 
berkeman
Mentor
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What threat? And yes.
I think Loren is referring to the new US Air Force TV advertisement -- the one where a satellite gets taken out by an ASAT. I'll see if I can find a copy...
 
berkeman
Mentor
56,132
6,159
I think Loren is referring to the new US Air Force TV advertisement -- the one where a satellite gets taken out by an ASAT. I'll see if I can find a copy...
USAF Space Command: http://www.afspc.af.mil/

Kind of like the "Space" video at this site: http://www.airforce.com/achangingworld/ but with an ASAT shootdown of the satellite to help motivate the recruiting message.
 
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I thought the biggest threat to satelites was space junk.
NORAD [north american radar air defence or stg like that?] scan space for space junk and can find anything above 4 incehs. i've heard.
also that satellites must occasionally {or regularly?] be moved out of the way of space junk which can be quite devastating if it hits: [a particle that almost destroyed a window on the shuttle turned out to be a speck of paint moving at several km/s from some space junk].

fiber optics are great.
i believe the usa and europe are linked fiber optically!
i remember 10 yrs ago calling the usa, there was a 4-5 second delay.
now it just as if the person is next door! and the bandwidth is pretty darn good

i think the big big advantage of satellites is that they allow for mobile communications, so that a tv crew in the middle of pretty much anywhere can set up a live tv feed to pretty much anywhere in the world. also for crazy people sailing across the atlantic, satellite phones are pretty handy! i dont see them being replaced. [at least not untill the next big coronal mass ejection!]
 
mgb_phys
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
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Fibre optics pretty much replaced satelite 10years ago for most phone/internet links
In fact one of the big issues in fibre today is that there is nothing like enough satelite capacity if a fibre gies down.
 
1,464
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Earth is wired up pretty good

http://www.telegeography.com/products/map_cable/images/sub_cable_2007_large.jpg [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
3,073
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Cool map, waht. How can one zoom in more than one power? I'd like to read the fine print.
 
1,464
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Yea me too, I haven't found any close up shots of the map.

You might find this clip also intersting

 
Last edited by a moderator:
3,073
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Good education, that clip. Toward the end, though, I thought the narrator referred to photons as "charges."
 
1,464
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This is a hybrid cable where fiber and electrical wires are bundled together. The electrical wires provide power to the laser repeaters every 50 Km or so.
 
3,073
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Ingenious.
 

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