nasa's laser communications tech, science experiment safely in space
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launches with the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program 3 (STP-3) mission from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. The mission’s Space Test Program Satellite-6 (STPSat-6) spacecraft hosts NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) and the NASA-U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Ultraviolet Spectro-Coronagraph (UVSC) Pathfinder. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) and a NASA-U.S. Naval Research Laboratory space weather payload to study the Sun’s radiation lifted off at 5:19 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

The payloads launched aboard the Space Test Program Satellite-6 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida as part of the U.S. Space Force’s Space Test Program 3 mission.

LCRD will demonstrate NASA’s first two-way laser relay communications system, sending and receiving data over invisible infrared lasers, which can enable data rates 10 to 100 times greater than radio frequency systems traditionally used by spacecraft.

“This launch introduces an exciting new technology for space missions,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Demonstrating this innovative way of communicating with spacecraft will open the door for this technology to expand the horizons of future space missions.”

The other NASA science payload that launched aboard the satellite was the Ultraviolet Spectro-Coronagraph Pathfinder (UVSC Pathfinder), a joint experiment with the Naval Research Lab that studies the origins of solar energetic particles, the Sun’s most dangerous form of radiation.

“We’re thrilled to welcome UVSC Pathfinder to the heliophysics observatory fleet,” said Daniel Moses, chief technologist in the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters. “This collaboration has the potential to develop a new, high-impact tool with predictive capability for energetic solar particle storms that will enable future space missions, helping us explore farther and travel safer.”

NASA’s LCRD will demonstrate the benefits of space-to-ground laser communications, also called optical communications. LCRD will send and receive data at a rate of 1.2 gigabits per second from geosynchronous orbit to Earth. At that speed, you could download a movie in under a minute. Laser communications systems are smaller, lighter, and use less power than radio frequency systems. These advantages, combined with laser communications’ higher bandwidth, can advance robotic and human exploration across the solar system.

“LCRD is NASA’s key milestone for the buildup of the “Decade of Light’ initiative, which involves the infusion of optical technology into space communications and navigation,” said Badri Younes, deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation program at NASA Headquarters. “By the 2030s, we expect optical technology to play a critical role in enabling an interoperable, reliable, and robust space communications infrastructure, providing seamless operations and roaming capability between government and commercial users and providers.”

After launch and confirmation that the payload is working well in space, LCRD will begin to transmit and receive data from its location in geosynchronous orbit—about 22,000 miles above Earth—with ground stations in California and Hawaii using infrared lasers.

LCRD will spend two years conducting experiments, assessing how weather and other changes in Earth’s atmosphere can impact laser communications, and measuring link performance to refine its operational capabilities and processes. Some experiments will simulate relay scenarios between the Moon and Earth to inform how laser communications could one day be used in NASA’s Artemis missions. The experiments and simulations will inform the development of future NASA and commercial missions hoping to utilize optical communications in Earth orbit and for exploration of the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

Later in its mission, LCRD will serve as a relay between an optical communications terminal on the International Space Station and ground stations on Earth. NASA’s Integrated LCRD Low-Earth Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal will allow for the first demonstration of a fully operational end-to-end laser communications system from the space station. Provided by NASA Citation: NASA’s laser communications tech, science experiment safely in space (2021, December 8) retrieved 8 December 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-12-nasa-laser-tech-science-safely.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Work towards a lucrative career in the blockchain, DevOps or Google cloud computing for $26

Turbocharge your tech career by taking it into highly in-demand specializations with the training you can do in your own home, even if working full-time.

View more: Work towards a lucrative career in the blockchain, DevOps or Google cloud computing for $26

Useful Tools That Can Help Improve The Way Your Business Works

(Photo : Matthew Henry via Unsplash) Technology has come a long way and there are now many tools that are available to help improve the way your business works. From project management tools to time tracking software, there is an app or program out there that can help make ...

View more: Useful Tools That Can Help Improve The Way Your Business Works

Microsoft’s wins, fails, and WTF moments of 2021

Microsoft launched Windows 11 in 2021, and the world will never be the same again.

View more: Microsoft’s wins, fails, and WTF moments of 2021

Implicating Dendritic Cells In The Pathogenesis Of Anterior Uveitis 

Credit: Pexels Uveitis is a potentially blinding condition whereby inflammation may irreversibly damage the delicate intraocular structures. It can be associated with infections, other systemic autoimmune conditions, or may be idiopathic. Anterior uveitis (AU), is the most common type and is defined as occurring within the anterior chamber of the ...

View more: Implicating Dendritic Cells In The Pathogenesis Of Anterior Uveitis 

Solubility In Sub- And Supercritical Ethanol

“Nitric acid 70 percent” by W. Oelen via Wikipedia licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en Extraction by subcritical and supercritical ethanol has been applied to many materials for the recovery of useful products from them. The treatment of coals and oil shales with these solvents may yield liquid fuels and many ...

View more: Solubility In Sub- And Supercritical Ethanol

Treating Sleeping Disorders Could Be As Easy As Taking Vitamin D

Pixabay Our world is a busy place with people awake at all hours of night and day. Somewhere around the world, there will be someone who is working past their work hours, working late into the night, or binging a new television show. There is so much to do and ...

View more: Treating Sleeping Disorders Could Be As Easy As Taking Vitamin D

Plastic Mulch Increasing Water Consumption At Night In Croplands

Credit: Shujing Qin Farmland as an important part of the terrestrial ecosystem inevitably affects regional ecohydrology process. Changes of terrestrial processes as the result of human activities will influence water and energy transfer process and further influence the regional ecohydrology process. Plastic mulching is a critical technology and has been ...

View more: Plastic Mulch Increasing Water Consumption At Night In Croplands

How Many Hearts Does A Worm Really Have?

How many hearts does a worm have? Well, the answer to that question can be a bit tricky, as it depends on how you define “heart.” Depending on the definition, worms can be said to have 0, 5, or 10 hearts. While they lack a traditional heart as understood in ...

View more: How Many Hearts Does A Worm Really Have?

Is Methylation Of MORC1 A Depression Biomarker?

Unvaccinated Children Will Be Banned From Attending School On Oregon’s “School Exclusion Day”

The COACH Program: Closing The “Evidence-Practice Gap” In The Prevention Of Cardiovascular Disease

When Is Hawaii’s Hurricane Season?

Bill Gates Decries Anti-GMO Advocates Amidst Russian GMO Propoganda

Motorola Frontier: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and 200MP camera are Motorola’s bets to conquer the market

Open Banking:Is It the Right Option for Your Traditional Financial Organization?

You can safely ignore Web3

Best video rigs for iPhone 2022

Pokémon Unite medals: What do the medals mean?

Antibody From Recovered COVID-19 Patients Found To Substantially Reduce Severity of Disease

Lawsuit against Amazon expected in connection with tornado that left 6 dead at Illinois warehouse

OTHER TECH NEWS

;