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NASA laser communication system makes history with transmissions from moon

ANI | Last Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 12:53

Washington: NASA`s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) created history after using a pulsed laser beam to transmit data over the 239,000 miles between the moon and Earth at a record-breaking download rate of 622 megabits per second (Mbps).

LLCD is NASA`s first system for two-way communication using a laser instead of radio waves. It also has demonstrated an error-free data upload rate of 20 Mbps transmitted from the primary ground station in New Mexico to the spacecraft currently orbiting the moon.

Badri Younes, NASA`s deputy associate administrator for space communications and navigation (SCaN) in Washington, said that LLCD is the first step on our roadmap toward building the next generation of space communication capability.

He said that they are encouraged by the results of the demonstration to this point, and they are confident we are on the right path to introduce this new capability into operational service soon.

Since NASA first ventured into space, it has relied on radio frequency (RF) communication.

However, RF is reaching its limit as demand for more data capacity continues to increase. The development and deployment of laser communications will enable NASA to extend communication capabilities such as increased image resolution and 3-D video transmission from deep space.

First Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 12:53
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