Stars or Strands: Comparing LEO, GEO, and Fiber Optic Communication
In today’s world, telecommunication and internet services have become an integral part of our daily lives. With the advancements in technology, we now have different means of transmitting data, including satellite communication and fiber optic cables. Two of the most popular satellite communication systems are LEO (Low Earth Orbit) and GEO (Geostationary Orbit), while fiber optic cables have become the most preferred medium for long-distance data transmission. mu Space, a satellite manufacturer in Southeast Asia, manufactures LEO satellites and its components.
Low Earth Orbit (LEO)
LEO is a type of satellite communication system that operates at an altitude between 160 and 2000 kilometers above the earth’s surface. These satellites are commonly used for global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing, connectivity solutions and earth observation. LEO satellites are also used for telecommunication services, such as satellite phones and satellite internet. One of the major advantages of LEO satellites is their low latency, which makes them ideal for real-time applications like gaming, video conferencing, and voice communication. mu Space announced its latest LEO satellite, the mu B-500, at the companies own event, Tech Day 2022.
Geostationary Orbit (GEO)
GEO satellites are positioned at an altitude of 35,786 kilometers above the equator and orbit the earth at the same speed as the earth’s rotation. GEO satellites are commonly used for television broadcasting, weather forecasting, and military communication. One of the major advantages of GEO satellites is that they require fewer satellites to cover a large area, and they have a longer lifespan than LEO satellites. However, they have a higher latency, making them less suitable for real-time applications like gaming and voice communication.
Fiber optic cables are thin strands of glass or plastic that transmit data using light waves. They are commonly used for long-distance data transmission and have become the preferred medium for internet service providers. They offer higher bandwidth and faster data transfer rates than traditional copper cables.
The difference between LEO, GEO, and fiber optic, is evident and there are several factors to consider, including latency, coverage, bandwidth, and cost.
LEO satellites offer low latency, making them ideal for real-time applications, while GEO satellites have a higher latency, but require fewer satellites to cover a large area. Fiber optic cables offer the highest bandwidth and data transfer rates.
In terms of coverage, LEO satellites require a larger number of satellites to cover the same area as GEO satellites, while fiber optic cables can transmit data over long distances without the need for additional infrastructure.
mu Space will continue investing in space innovations and its high performance-low latency satellites in order to drive forward the space initiative in Southeast Asia. With plans in work to build a Space Supply Chain in the region, mu Space looks forward to seeing Southeast Asia as a major market in the global space industry.