Space is definitely the high ground when it comes to many military, scientific and economic activities. As the world becomes more information-intensive, the ability to move data rapidly, reliably, and cheaply will be of enormous advantage. Governments, private companies, and scientific organizations are rushing to build large satellite constellations to enhance surveillance of the Earth, explore space, and improve the movement of data. These constellations will need laser-based communications if they are to move the enormous amounts of data that the modern networked world is creating. The race is on to equip future satellites with laser-based communications systems. The U.S. government and industry must continue to invest in the necessary optical technologies to create a robust and affordable domestic laser communications capability. I have written more on this subject here.
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