Saturday, 13 July 2013

Space Station to Test New Laser Communication System


This artist's concept shows how the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) laser will beam data to Earth from the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)
NASA will use the International Space Station to test a new communications technology that could dramatically improve spacecraft communications, enhance commercial missions and strengthen transmission of scientific data.

The Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS), an optical technology demonstration experiment, could improve NASA's data rates for communications with future spacecraft by a factor of 10 to 100. OPALS has arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida from the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. It is scheduled to launch to the space station later this year aboard a SpaceX Dragon commercial resupply capsule on the company's Falcon 9 rocket.

"OPALS represents a tangible stepping stone for laser communications, and the International Space Station is a great platform for an experiment like this," said Michael Kokorowski, OPALS project manager at JPL. "Future operational laser communication systems will have the ability to transmit more data from spacecraft down to the ground than they currently do, mitigating a significant bottleneck for scientific investigations and commercial ventures."
More - Link >>> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130711151404.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fspace_time+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Space+%26+Time+News%29

Sources: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, ScienceDaily.com .

Related Blog Posts ---

NASA’s 1st Laser Communication System Ready for Launch (2013 March 18):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/03/nasas-1st-laser-communication-system.html


1st Laser Communication w/ Lunar Satellite: Mona Lisa  (2013 Jan. 18):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/01/1st-laser-communication-w-lunar.html


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