Here, in this unsightly house in the center of Ryazan, technologies, that are used in the NASA Mars expedition and the fighting in Damascus, are being developed. Here is based a company that, for some reason, is unknown in the region, but is very popular almost all over the world – “Mostcom”. Suffice to say that now millions of dollars are being invested by companies such as Google, Facebook and SpaceX to repeat its developments.
For 17 years Ryazan inventors have been working on a unique data transmission technology – free-space optics communication.
The principle is very simple, – says Sergey Shirobakin, the chief designer of the company “Mostcom”, – do you know how people used fires to transmit information from the times of ancient Greece? Simple binary system. The fire is extinguished – all is well. A fire is burning – anxiety. Approximately information is also transmitted in our development, only the light comes on and goes out a billion times faster than it could have been done with a fire.
Add a few numbers: this system can transmit information about 10 times faster than the most modern networks. Armed with equipment with a total cost of about 20 000 USD, you can create a network at home, with a peak speed of up to 40 Gb / s. If we talk about usual wireless technologies, the situation is a bit worse. Wi-Fi peak speed is about 4 Gb/s. And free-space optics is much faster – just imagine, you can transfer a ultra-sized movie in just 2-3 seconds. The development of the Ryazan company allows you to increase this speed to 100 Gb / s!
In the world there are about 10 companies that develop such technologies. So far this is still a small market – about 40 million dollars a year, but Mostcom occupies a very good percentage in it.
The device itself has 2 parts, located at a distance of from 1.5 to 8 kilometers, depending on the model. The key point – they must be in direct view, strictly opposite each other. Well, then, as Sergey already said, a special light flashes in one of the devices, transmitting the binary code, and the second one picks up this flicker and decodes it.
The cost of one pair of such devices is from 10 to 15 thousand dollars. Actually, that’s why we work mostly for export – it is very difficult to find customers in Russia. At the moment in our country we sell only about 10% of our products. The rest, for the most part, goes to Europe, China and Africa.
However, there have been companies and projects, work on which can be particularly proud. For example, the NASA expedition to Mars, mentioned above, in which the development of Ryazan inventors will be used.
Yes, NASA has acquired several of our devices. With minor modifications, however, given the specific conditions of use. Details, for obvious reasons, I cannot disclose. Of the recent large projects, there was an order from the University of Milan that will use our system to explore the atmosphere. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology acquired our systems under a grant from the US Department of Defense. The biggest supply was to Syria in 2012, when the armed conflict was just beginning there. About 100 vehicles provided uninterrupted communication of all government buildings in Damascus. You probably shouldn’t say why this is so important during a war. Another important point – the information that is transmitted via this system is almost impossible to intercept.
The future plans of the company is a new development, on which Mostcom works together with Roskosmos. The main task is to increase the range of the system to 5,000 kilometers so that it can be used in space.