NASA will improve Internet speed in space with an LCRD laser

NASA will improve Internet speed in space with an LCRD laser

Radio frequency waves and infrared light Electromagnetic radiation. The only thing that changes is the wavelength, since both are Invisible to the human eye. In its missions, NASA modifies data and turns it into electromagnetic waves, which are transmitted from spacecraft to stations on Earth, one of which is in Madrid.

The laser allows you to send more information simultaneously

The problem with radio frequency signals is their propagation. By using infrared light and a laser, which are optical signals, it is possible to aggregate data at narrower frequencies, so that stations on the ground can receive more data simultaneously. This way, since both the radio frequency and infrared signals travel at the speed of light, the only thing that can be improved is the amount of data that can be compressed by sending data.

Thus, the reference The laser is more powerful In addition to, it allows you to store more information Reducing interference and improving security Focuses the signal on a specific area and prevents another nearby geographic area from capturing it. The downside to this is that you have to be very accurate when aiming, because by deflecting a fraction of the degree, the signal will not reach the destination.

To avoid signal problems, the LCRD satellite, located at an altitude of 35,400 km in geostationary orbit, will test this laser system for two years through several experiments. Communications will be made with the California and Hawaii stations as simulated customers to see if there is interference of any kind. Later, tests will be conducted with space missions.

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1.2 Gbps – 100 times faster than now

The first stop is called Built-in LCRD user modem and amplifier terminal (ILLUMA-T), On board the International Space Station in 2022, and it will be allowed access Speeds of 1.2 Gbps Between the satellite and the station. This speed will also be reached between the satellite and base stations on Earth.

Both the LCRD and ILLUMA-T are an evolution of the communications system that NASA tested using lasers on the moon, which reached speeds of up to 622 Mbps. Using a laser, it will be possible to receive high-definition pictures s 4K video Much faster than before, with 10 to 100 times improvement over current radio systems. By comparison, a Mars map would take 9 weeks to be charged with current systems, and with lasers it would only take 9 days.

In addition to speed improvements, using a laser allows you to use equipment that takes up less space, weighs less, and uses less energy. With this, more scientific instruments can be equipped, and battery consumption can be greatly reduced. Therefore, they hope that in the coming years lasers will become the default way to send and receive data in space, as if it were a series of space.

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