Along with photographs of pets, NASA tested laser technology for future communications

Along with photographs of pets, NASA tested laser technology for future communications

01:59 PM

This week, NASA conducted a specific experiment to test a new networking technique.

With its first end-to-end bidirectional laser relay system, the space agency sent photos and videos. Icons of astronauts Randy Bresnik, Christina Koch and Kjell Lindgren and other employees.

The images made a round trip through space to the International Space Station, flying over laser communications links at 1.2 gigabits per second, faster than most home internet speeds.

The exchanges enabled NASA’s SCaN (Space Communications and Navigation) program. Shows the power of laser communicationsThe company explains on its official blog.

The icon campaign is rewarding the ILLUMA-T, LCRD and HDTN teams on multiple fronts.said Kevin Goggins, deputy administrator and director of the SCaN program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The test not only demonstrated how these technologies can play a vital role in enabling NASA’s future science and exploration missions, but also gave teams a fun opportunity to imagine “your pets,” a spokesperson notes in an official release. Innovative Demonstration.”

The demonstration was inspired by “Tatters the Cat,” an orange cat whose video was sent 19 million miles via laser links to the Psych mission’s DSOC (Deep Space Optical Communications) payload.

LCRD, DSOC and ILLUMA-T are three of the laser communication demonstrations NASA is continuing to test the reliability of this technology.

The images and videos began on a computer at the Mission Operations Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico. From there, NASA transmitted data to optical ground stations in California and Hawaii. The teams converted the data into infrared light signals, or lasers, and transmitted the signals to NASA’s LCRD (Laser Communications Relay Demonstration), located more than 22,000 miles above Earth in geosynchronous orbit. LCRD transmitted data to ILLUMA-T (Integrated LCRD Low Earth Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal), which is currently mounted outside the space station.

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The company explains that the demonstration allowed it to test another networking technique, which is important because, When data is transmitted over thousands and even millions of kilometers in space, the latency and potential for data interruption or loss is significant.

To solve this problem, NASA developed a set of network communication protocols called DTN (Delay/Disturbance Tolerant Networking). “The store-and-forward process used by DTN allows data to be transmitted or stored for future transmission if there are signals ‘interfering in space,'” said Catherine Schauer of NASA’s communications team at Goddard Space Flight Center.


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