What's changed from past generations of Wireless Fibre Optics?

Modified on Tue, 16 Aug 2022 at 12:52 PM


  • Transcelestial has targeted the performance of Centauri versus older Wireless Fibre Optic solutions (also known as Free Space Optics (FSO)) by focusing on improvements in SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power).
  • With the use of the 1550nm wavelength for transmitting and receiving data, Centauri devices experience less diffraction and attenuation from environmental factors
  • Transcelestial's devices also provide active onboard tracking and Adaptive Power Control (APC) to maintain better alignment between devices when they experience vibrations or other environmental events


Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP)

The last generation of Wireless Fibre Optic devices were large, heavy, cumberson, and had huge power consumption requirements. CENTAURI is the size of a shoebox, weighs only 3kg and requires only 25W to 32W of power to operate in any environment. CENTAURI can even work off power from solar cells.


In the past, Wireless Fibre Optic solutions relied on the use of wavelengths between 780nm to 980nm. This spectrum is a near-visible infrared spectral region, which is cost-effective. Transcelestial uses 1550nm which suffers less absorption and diffraction (2-3 orders of magnitude) in the atmosphere, compared to the 780nm to 980nm spectrum range. This was a major downfall for older generations of FSO and severely hampered the ability to deal with basic atmospheric phenomena.

Background Light Sources and Reflections

In the past, East-West line-of-sight links were significantly impaired due to the background light caused by sunrise and sunsets. The use of the 1550nm wavelength also improves performance during sunrise and sunset as the solar spectra effect does not interfere with this wavelength as much as others.

Furthermore, we apply additional optical filtering to prevent stray light from entering the device, which further reduces the impact of other shadows and reflections.

Beam Width

CENTAURI’s laser beam width is much narrower than older generations of devices. A narrow beam allows more power-efficient transmission to the receiver. Using a more narrow beam also makes pointing and tracking more challenging, which our pointing and tracking technologies compensate for.

Previous generations of devices lacked active tracking, and their beam width was very large (+5mrad). In order to comply with eye safety regulations, the signal had to disperse quickly and the range was drastically affected by rain and other weather events, making it impractical to use for most use cases.

Vibration Compensation

Older generations of Wireless Fibre Optics faced significant challenges during heavy rain, including link drops caused by pole vibrations and sway created by rain & wind. These devices lacked high-speed active tracking and the ability to adjust in near-real-time to compensate for vibrations. However, with CENTAURI we have implemented active onboard tracking to compensate for pole vibrations and other environmental events.

Adaptive Power Control (APC)

CENTAURI's Adaptive Power Control (APC) helps our devices adjust in real-time, autonomously, by understanding the change in weather through sensor fusion. CENTAURI automatically adjusts and enhances the link budget by pushing the right amount of power during such an event in order to compensate for increased dB/km losses.

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