Optical Wireless Security

Written by Lightpointe Communications

Continued from page 1

The interception of optical wireless systems operating with narrow beams inrepparttar infrared spectral wavelength range is far more difficult. In fact, military organizations or government entities that rely heavily on extremely secure transmission technologies were amongrepparttar 139080 earliest users of optical wireless communication systems as a way to avoid signal interception. Therefore, it is understandable whyrepparttar 139081 study of FSO technology in military labs and security agencies dates back several decades. Inrepparttar 139082 early days of FSO development,repparttar 139083 ability to transmit information at high data rates was actually a less important factor thanrepparttar 139084 fact that FSO technologies offered one ofrepparttar 139085 easiest and most secure ways to exchange information between remote locations. The small diameter ofrepparttar 139086 beam of typically only a few meters in diameter atrepparttar 139087 target location is one ofrepparttar 139088 reasons why it is extremely difficult to interceptrepparttar 139089 communication path of an FSO-based optical wireless system: The intruder must knowrepparttar 139090 exact origination or target location ofrepparttar 139091 (invisible) infrared beam and can only interceptrepparttar 139092 beam withinrepparttar 139093 very narrow angle of beam propagation. Even more difficult,repparttar 139094 intruder must have free and undisturbed access torepparttar 139095 installation location ofrepparttar 139096 optical wireless transceiver and be able to install electronic equipment without being observed. Inrepparttar 139097 majority of cases,repparttar 139098 installation location does not allow free access to a potential intruder becauserepparttar 139099 installation location is part ofrepparttar 139100 customer premise such asrepparttar 139101 roof or an office (when optical wireless equipment is installed behind windows).

The direct interception of an optical wireless beam betweenrepparttar 139102 two remote networking locations is basically impossible becauserepparttar 139103 beam typically passes throughrepparttar 139104 air at an elevation well above ground level. Due torepparttar 139105 fact thatrepparttar 139106 transmission beam is invisible and that any attempts to blockrepparttar 139107 beam would occur nearrepparttar 139108 optical wireless equipment terminus points,repparttar 139109 transmission process imposes another obstacle. Picking uprepparttar 139110 signal from a location that is not directly located withinrepparttar 139111 light path by using light photons scattered from aerosol, fog, or rain particles that might be present inrepparttar 139112 atmosphere is virtually impossible because ofrepparttar 139113 extremely low infrared power levels used duringrepparttar 139114 optical wireless transmission process. The main reason for excluding this possibility of intrusion isrepparttar 139115 fact that light is scattered isotropically and statistically in different directions fromrepparttar 139116 original propagation path. This specific scattering mechanism keepsrepparttar 139117 total number of photons orrepparttar 139118 amount of radiation that can potentially be collected onto a detector that is not directly placed intorepparttar 139119 beam path well beyondrepparttar 139120 detector noise level

Summary Optical wireless communication systems are amongrepparttar 139121 most secure networking transmission technologies. Unlike microwave systems, it is extremely difficult to interceptrepparttar 139122 optical wireless light beam carrying networking data becauserepparttar 139123 information is not spread out in space but rather kept in a very narrow cone of light. To intercept this invisible light beam,repparttar 139124 intruder must be able to obtain direct access torepparttar 139125 light beam. Due torepparttar 139126 very narrow beam diameter, interception ofrepparttar 139127 beam can virtually only be accomplished atrepparttar 139128 customer premise whererepparttar 139129 system is installed. At that point, it would be certainly easier for an intruder to plug directly intorepparttar 139130 network by usingrepparttar 139131 existing copper-based infrastructure (e.g. unplug a CAT 5 networking cable and plug it into a laptop). Scattered light can not be used as a method of interception. Moreover, higher protocol layers can be used in conjunction with layer one optical wireless physical transport technology to encrypt sensitive network information and provide additional.

Lightpointe are a pioneer in the development of Optical Wireless products based on free-space optics (FSO) technology. Lightpointe's wireless solutions are installed and supported in the UK by WAN Partnership Ltd. For more information and discussion about Wireless technologies please visit http://www.wanpartnership.co.uk

Optical Wireless Solutions Based on Free Space Optical (FSO) Technology

Written by Lightpointe Communications

Continued from page 1

Source 2: Justrepparttar Facts, Corning Incorporated, 1995 Sorce 3: The Essential Guide to Telecommunications, Annabel Zodd, 2002 Source 4 What Ever Happened to Broadband?, Erick Schonfeld, Business 2.0, October 2002 Source 5: The Essential Guide to Telecommunications, Annabel Zodd, 2002 Source 6: Can They Dig It?, Kate Gerwig, Teledotcom, March 2001

Today’s Emerging Synergistic Optical Wireless/Fiber Landscape

From rural farms to suburban hospital campuses to big city high-rise offices, high-speed network connections must be made available everywhere people live and work, ifrepparttar 139079 information age is to reach full realization. Although rural, suburban and metropolitan connections each have their own sets of challenges;repparttar 139080 metropolitan market is presentingrepparttar 139081 greatest difficulty for true highbandwidth connectivity. Complete, efficient, and profitable networks to meet emerging customer needs cannot exist withoutrepparttar 139082 creation of metro area connectivity using diverse medium and resources. While some may consider an all-fiber networkrepparttar 139083 ideal connectivity solution,repparttar 139084 medium’s high-bandwidth capacity comes at a high price that is not feasible everywhere. A number of compelling factors justify further integration of optical wireless solutions to complement fiber deployments to meetrepparttar 139085 growing connectivity demands. Service providers that have invested significantly to build network fiber backbones now need communications traffic to fully utilize network upgrades and generate revenues to pay for such investments. Developing metro optical network deployments (substantial bandwidth upgrades) extendsrepparttar 139086 reach of metropolitan networks torepparttar 139087 network edge. This isrepparttar 139088 same portion ofrepparttar 139089 network where regulation changes have encouraged telecommunications players to “race” to gain competitive advantage and deliverrepparttar 139090 best value to customers

EVOLVING INFRASTRUCTURES Because metropolitan telecommunications network architectures—particularly those inrepparttar 139091 United States and Western Europe—have evolved as a patchwork of technologies, communications data is often slowed by protocols translations to manage and direct high-bandwidth information through metro networks. In growing economies such as China, India and Latin America,repparttar 139092 growth in bandwidth demands presents a different challenge, due to relative lack of network infrastructure.

TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANTAGES Optical wireless solutions and fiber arerepparttar 139093 two optical technologies today that deliver high-speed optical bandwidth to meet market needs. Their integration offers several technological advantages. First, fiber optics and optical wireless solutions share several characteristics. Optical wireless solutions can userepparttar 139094 same optical transmission wavelengths as fiber optics (850nm or 1550 nm). Second, optical wireless solutions and fiber can utilizerepparttar 139095 same system components such as lasers, receivers and amplifiers. Third, both fiber and optical wireless can transmit digital information using a range of protocols. Fourth—and critically important in meeting technological demands—optical wireless deliversrepparttar 139096 bandwidth (up to 2.5Gbps) necessary to complement fiber networks.

STRONG BUSINESS MODEL The business advantages of optical wireless for network extensions include deployments at an average of one-fifthrepparttar 139097 cost of fiber-optic cable and in one-tenthrepparttar 139098 time. Optical wireless systems are a flexible investment that can be re-deployed to meet changing customer needs. Optical wireless and fiber also integrate seamlessly, and because optical wireless equipment is simple and easily installed,repparttar 139099 technology can bridge optical network gaps effectively with reduced CAPEX risk. Installing optical wireless solutions to complement fiber enables service providers to secure customers in a specific location first before installingrepparttar 139100 system to bridge torepparttar 139101 fiber network, providing optimal alignment between capital expenditure and income.

Complementary Future The future ofrepparttar 139102 information economy depends on profitability. Despite large debt loads and low cash flow, service providers cannot afford to forego investments necessary to grow their customer base—and that requires extending their networks to complete “last mile” connectivity.

Now that they are being more discriminating aboutrepparttar 139103 way they spend their money, service provider managers are demanding high-bandwidth technologies that will also lower OPEX. Flexible networks that can adjust to changing customer concentrations and metro environments are needed. Combining optical wireless and fiber to create optical networks offersrepparttar 139104 best solution to these problems. The reward for successfully combining these two optical technologies is attainable and economically viable.

Complementary deployment of optical wireless and fiber servesrepparttar 139105 needs of a variety of carrier types in metropolitan networks. Market growth for both last mile access and network extension applications is predicted to experience a 219% growth rate in 2001 over 2000 and hasrepparttar 139106 potential to extend metro last-mile networks.7 Despite questions about economic growth, there is no reason to expect that customer demand for bandwidth will slow inrepparttar 139107 near future, and although carrier capital spending may have slowed to a crawl, prospects for growth remain strong.8 SG Cowen projects carrier spending on new equipment, after two years of decline, should hit $102 billion by 2003. Metro optical networks are expected to see $57.3 billion invested by 2005.

Conclusion The most exciting possibilities forrepparttar 139108 future ofrepparttar 139109 information economy will only be practical and profitable when network connectivity is expanded to reach a broad customer base. Telephone lines have this connectivity, but they don’t offerrepparttar 139110 capacity to enable true high-bandwidth communications. The network fiber backbone or “core” can carryrepparttar 139111 bandwidth, but has yet to be connected torepparttar 139112 majority of potential users. A new paradigm for building optical networks offers an alternative to expensive and timeconsuming fiber-only metro networks. By combining optical wireless and fiber, networks can be built quickly and provide affordable and scalable connections to end-users, who are expected to continue increasing demand for bandwidth.

Source 7: The Strategis Group, Free Space Optics: Global Trends, Positioning, and Forecasts, September, 2001 Source 8: Optical Networking Industry, SG Cowen Securities Corp., August 2001

Lightpointe are a pioneer in the development of Optical Wireless products based on free-space optics (FSO) technology. LightPointe's Wireless Systems are installed and supported in the UK and Europe by WAN Partnership Ltd. More information and further discussion about Wireless technologies can be found at: http://www.wanpartnership.co.uk

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