Optical free space communication is favourable for high data-rate, long-range point-to-point links,
where the terminal size, mass, and power is limited, as for example on aeronautical or space platforms.
Main advantages lie in a significantly higher data rate and the lower power/ space requirements of optical
links compared to RF.
One future application for optical links is the use on high altitude platforms (HAPs), which will be
positioned at altitudes of about 20 to 30 km. Inter-platform links can have a range of at least 600km at
these altitudes without cloud interferences.
HAPs do have the advantage of being more cost effective compared to satellites due to lower launch costs
and also the possibility of easier maintenance and reconfiguration.
Applications Scenarios of Optical Links