Satellites help to bring broadband to the moon header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

Satellite technology has been used in a project that could help to provide broadband connectivity on the moon. 

Research undertaken by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory in the US has combined the use of satellites with laser-based communications to create a network link with the moon, which is sufficient for connecting to the web and even streaming high-definition videos.

The connection is achieved by lasers being sent from four telescopes based at a terminal in New Mexico. This is then picked up by a receiver that is mounted on a satellite orbiting the moon, which amplifies the signal and converts it into data bit messages that allow computers and other devices to go online.

Full details of the new technology will be presented at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics in early June. It has even been suggested the development could be used to provide connectivity for deep-space missions to Mars and other planets. 

While this is undoubtedly an extreme example, it does demonstrate the role satellite technology can play in bringing high-speed internet access to hard-to-reach areas. 

Satellite broadband operates via signals sent from a satellite in space and this means the same connection speed is available anywhere so long as the sky is in view. This makes it an ideal connectivity option for people in remote rural areas where a good broadband service can otherwise be hard to come by. 

This is a situation that is familiar for many farmers in the UK and beyond due to the isolated areas in which their farms are located. 

Avonline has recently agreed an agreement with UK operator Avanti, which will help expand its satellite broadband service to farmers across the country. 

Mark Wynn, Avonline managing director, told FarmingUK: "With more than 1,000 systems already installed in farming-related properties we have proved conclusively how we are able to help farmers get fast broadband today, no matter where they live."