Printed from http://www.electronista.com

NASA testing 100Mbps laser-based Internet in space

updated 04:05 pm EDT, Mon September 26, 2011

Hopes to bring FIOS speeds to space

NASA is planning to demonstrate a new optically based communications system that could dramatically increase the speed at which images from space are retrieved. The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LRCD), in theory, could improve data transmission rates by anywhere from 10 to 100 times. If successful, the project could reduce the time it takes to transmit high-resolution images from Mars, for example, from 90 minutes to just a few minutes, and ultimately lead to live streaming of HD video from the Moon and beyond.

LRCD would augment NASA's legacy radio-based network, operating on a fleet of tracking and data relay satellites and a network of ground stations, with optically-based systems. NASA plans to transmit digital data via lasers from specially equipped ground stations to an experimental payload. The payload would include telescopes, lasers, mirrors, detectors, a pointing and tracking system, control electronics, and several modems. Once the payload receives the data, it would then relay it back to ground stations in Hawaii and Southern California.

The strategy was likened by LRCD Principal Investigator Dave Israel to "moving FiOS to space," referring to Verizon's fiber Internet.

If things all go as planned, the space-bound component of the LRCD would be launched in 2016, hosted on a commercial communications satellite developed by Space Systems/Loral. The trial would run for three years.

Conceptual image of LCRD. Source: NASA



By Electronista Staff
Post tools:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Dell AD211 Bluetooth speaker

For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solution ...

VisionTek 128GB USB Pocket SSD

USB flash drives dealt the death blow to both the floppy and Zip drives. While still faster than either of the old removable media, sp ...

Kodak PixPro SL10 Smart Lens Camera

Smartphone imagery still widely varies. Large Megapixel counts don't make for a good image, and the optics in some devices are lacking ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News