Amazon launched two satellites into space in October that were the first of thousands the company plans to use to create a global network of satellites to provide low-cost reliable internet to underserved locations.
The initiative is called Project Kuiper, and recently, the company revealed more about the plan with the release of information surrounding a successful test.
The Kuiper satellites will eventually form a mesh network covering the entire inhabited part of the globe.
To do so, the satellites must be able to exchange data with other satellites at a high rate of speed without latency.
Amazon revealed that the initial testing included connecting the two test satellites using optical inter-satellite links, or OISL.
OISL has been used for satellite-to-satellite communication for some time, but Amazon’s test included sending and receiving data at 100 gigabytes per second.
According to the company blog, “We are equipping every Project Kuiper satellite with multiple optical terminals to connect many satellites at a time, establishing high-speed laser cross-links that form a secure, resilient mesh network in space.”
The two satellites, separated by 621 miles, were able to communicate uninterrupted for some time without loss despite both satellites moving at over 7km per second.
Eventually, Amazon plans to place over 3,000 satellites into orbit, each capable of moving large amounts of data to any nearby satellite and creating a huge mesh network.
Mesh networks provide flexibility, speed, and reliability for data transmission because if one node fails, the system can route around it to other nearby nodes.
Amazon plans to launch its first production satellites in early 2024.