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Project Taara: Alphabet's Laser-based 20 Gbps Communication System Transmits 700 TB Over 5 Km

Raevenlord

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Alphabet has announced that its prototype implementation of a laser-based communications system, Project Taara, successfully managed to transmit over 700 Terabytes of data over a 5 km distance. The system successfully transmitted the information across the Congo river in the African continent, connecting the towns of Brazzaville (Republic of Congo) and Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo). The system aims to deliver fiber-optic-level communications speed in locations where infrastructure investment cost for a fiber optics solution is economically unfeasible. In this case, Project Taara delivered the high-speed connection where 250 miles of fiber network cabling would need to be laid out to achieve the same effect. It should also allow for cheaper infrastructure development in well-developed cities.

The project has taken the Free Space Optical Communications technology developed for Project Loon, one of Alphabet's explorations on delivering high-speed internet connections to rural areas whilst using stratospheric helium balloons. Alphabet said that its Project Taara link was operational for 20 days during the test period, where it achieved a signal availability level of 99.9% - meaning that it was practically uninterrupted. The laser system features self-adjustment capabilities that aim to circumvent weather and wildlife elements, which allow the lasers to not only boost the laser strength if required, but also to adjust the output and input laser dishes by up to +/- 5 degrees. The system's current development stage should allows for "a light beam the width of a chopstick accurately enough to hit a 5-centimeter target that's 10 kilometers away."





The project was first deployed for testing in India, and the team behind it shared the following video which sheds some light on the process.


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You're being too pessimistic about this. In the final design the ray will pierce through anything and leave a glowing hole behind.
 
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Or if it's foggy. Or if there is a sand/dust in the air. Or if a flock of birds fly through the beam. Or if some dude leans on the mast and break the alignment. Or, or...
but you did read that it was up for two weeks in a row with 99.9% availability in an area which isn't without rain/dust/other issues that were compensated by the solution?

Yes, it's still a far shot from great but definitely a good approach and more feasible than fiber-cables or satellite solutions, especially for areas like the one tested in.
 
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but you did read that it was up for two weeks in a row with 99.9% availability in an area which isn't without rain/dust/other issues that were compensated by the solution?

Yes, it's still a far shot from great but definitely a good approach and more feasible than fiber-cables or satellite solutions, especially for areas like the one tested in.
Yes, yes I did read it. This is basically a desert but with a low humidity, percipitation and dust storms. Besides, two weeks are hardly statistically relevant to draw any general conclusions.
What I wrote for the technology's inherent fundamental limitations is still true.
 
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You're being too pessimistic about this. In the final design the ray will pierce through anything and leave a glowing hole behind.
First thing I thought of, the scene in Real Genius with the huge hole in the tree.

 
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5G takes too long to cook your brain, this tech can just make a hole through it - progress!
FR2 are proven to be very harmful to many living things, yet nobody seems to care, but say 'layzah' and everone loses their mind.
 

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That seems extremly unreliable, in any conditions that isn't dry.
Given how well microwave fronthaul works in rain... which is a few magnitude bigger waves than nmWaves of laser
I'm very doubtful of this working outside arid, low percipation areas
 
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Just imagine the free laser light show when a light fog or minor dust storm rolls in as multiple transmitters attempt to boost power to the lasers to power through the haze.
 
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As the word Taara means empty packages in Estonian (liquid mostly but also solid food) i was thinking Alphabet was entering the recycling business. Tho they need this too in Africa. Maybe that project can be named HyperLink or something lol.
 
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Hah! We need this right now in my neighborhood. Its been like 3 days now since the tornado-like storm and we still don't have phone, cable, or internet and we probably won't have it for at least a couple more days.

Lasers would work when you're in a pinch, but they will never be near as reliable as a flexible wired fiber optic connection that isn't prone to signal degradation from changes in air/particle composition or misalignments. Even if one is able to transfer hellabytes or brontobytes at a time using this, its not much help if its unreliable. heh, I think satellite TV is more reliable than this.
 
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Hah! We need this right now in my neighborhood. Its been like 3 days now since the tornado-like storm and we still don't have phone, cable, or internet and we probably won't have it for at least a couple more days.

Lasers would work when you're in a pinch, but they will never be near as reliable as a flexible wired fiber optic connection that isn't prone to signal degradation from changes in air/particle composition or misalignments. Even if one is able to transfer hellabytes or brontobytes at a time using this, its not much help if its unreliable. heh, I think satellite TV is more reliable than this.
maybe talk to your local govt about undergrounding your power and comms cables so when shit hits the fan it just keeps on ticking along tell them that in the long run it will save them money on expensive repair work after every bad storm
 
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maybe talk to your local govt about undergrounding your power and comms cables so when shit hits the fan it just keeps on ticking along tell them that in the long run it will save them money on expensive repair work after every bad storm
Yeah, but the only problem with simply burying it in the ground is how many people are willing to give up a kidney + a testicle for it while taking out a 2nd mortgage on their house to pay for it all? The cost of running lines like that alone are many many times more expensive(as well as the maintenance). It makes more sense in a city, but not out in the country(and it would have to be a rich one with golden cows that you can milk for platinum).
No, the problem isn't with having the lines above ground. The real issue is with dozy tw@ts that want to cut costs any way they can, regardless of how it affects service. Years ago, power outages were rare in my area, and when we did have them, the worst would last about 24 hrs. Some drunk assclown takes out a pole? No problem! 3-4 hours later a new pole is in the ground and everything is fine. Rain, sun, snow, sleet, windy, they were out working on the lines if needed.
Now we have outages much more frequently, and more often than not, it takes days to have power restored(sometimes longer than a week depending on the causes).
These power/cable companies don't want to spend much in the way of maintaining their lines and taking preventative measures. They would rather just wait until shit breaks and wait until the weather is nicer before repairing it. When I repeatedly drive by the same cable line and still see the same heavy tree laying across it for near two years, it really becomes a "WTF moment".

heh, another problem I see with going the way of lasers: drones. Just fly a drone in and let it hover at the right spot and no more laser transmission.
 
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Environmentalists will find something to whinge about.
Will it affect birds eyesight etc.
 
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Environmentalists will find something to whinge about.
Will it affect birds eyesight etc.
It's a little unfortunate we have a label for people who care about the environment as "environmentalists" and too many people use it negatively.

We all live in this world and we should all be Caring for it. We should all be "environmentalists".
 

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Now we just add these to the sharks heads...
 
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FR2 are proven to be very harmful to many living things
Ok, I'll bite. What on earth is "FR2?"

If you are talking about 5G, no it ain't. Not outside of social media anyways.

That seems extremly unreliable, in any conditions that isn't dry.
Given how well microwave fronthaul works in rain... which is a few magnitude bigger waves than nmWaves of laser
I'm very doubtful of this working outside arid, low percipation areas
but you did read that it was up for two weeks in a row with 99.9% availability in an area which isn't without rain/dust/other issues that were compensated by the solution?
Basically, lasers of this strength won't have an issue with humidity guys.
 

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Ok, I'll bite. What on earth is "FR2?"

If you are talking about 5G, no it ain't. Not outside of social media anyways.



Basically, lasers of this strength won't have an issue with humidity guys.
percipation =/= humidity
You do know that microwave fronthaul can and is used to "see" percipation and rain-clouds?
It's rain, snow and dust. How will it work, when it's placed across a fjord, or mountain range where rain clouds go inbetween the sender/recievers?
Do you know the effect rain have on 10GHz microwave connectivity and modulation? It massivly decreases it's reliability. This will be in the 3 × 10^13 Hz (Infrared) - 3 × 10^15 Hz (Ultraviolet)

and in that case of boosting strength, how high signal strength/output? why not just boost the already existing microwave backhaul to those output levels, if you're gonna boost it?
How will it work in heavy wind? It says auto-correcting, but how quick is the auto-correct? In general, I'm also highly sceptical to self-correcting feature, how reliable will that be in a big rollout?
 
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Ok, I'll bite. What on earth is "FR2?"

If you are talking about 5G, no it ain't. Not outside of social media anyways.
Apologies for the delay! I needed to check if some of my older sources were not scientifically disproved.

FR2 stands for 'Frequency Range 2'. Basically, RF waves with wavelenght in the mm range (and even smaller). It is also a part of 5G frequency spectrum. It's being widely deployed across the globe, sans Europe where many countries are putting memorandums in force.

While this mm waves are not ionizing, they have many, scientifically-proven adverse effects on many living things. In summary, they are harmful to human eyes and skin upon prolonged exposures.
The other huge concern is the harmful effect on many insects, bees incl. Given how fragile our ecosystem is, this a major red flag.

Not quite like Facebook posts, but have at it:




There are many others like these. I was able to track the scientific validity only of these. Even some simple googling will reveal true horrors. Huge lobbying prevents any significant hindrance from happening to the roll out of mmWave technologies.
 
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In summary, they are harmful to human eyes and skin upon prolonged exposures.
So are all microwaves. If you let yourself get cooked by your cellphone you may be in danger. You can literally feel the heat, like a microwave. Don't let that happen.

The real concern I have with the latest mm waves is the way they interfere with huricane forcasting, which is real.
 
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So are all microwaves. If you let yourself get cooked by your cellphone you may be in danger. You can literally feel the heat, like a microwave. Don't let that happen.

The real concern I have with the latest mm waves is the way they interfere with huricane forcasting, which is real.
I'm not quite sure if your first paragraph was sarcasm or not. Maybe you are missing the fact that (mobile) communications are bi-directional, i.e. all base stations (gNodeB in the case of 5G) are constantly transmitting in downlink. Even with MU-MIMO and active beamforming/beam steering, the beams are not so narrow, so even if the guy next to you is using mmWave 5G you are being cooked too.

Saying hurricane forecasting interfering is real implies that the other issues I raised are not. Only that they are. That is why they are scientifically published; everyone is free to disprove them, if they can.
 
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