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NASA Completes Optical Communication Demonstration Aboard Psyche Spacecraft

Space communication

NASA Completes Optical Communication Demonstration Aboard Psyche Spacecraft

NASA announced that its Deep Space Optical Communications project has showcased the possibility of using optical communications to accelerate the sending of complex scientific information from space, including high-definition images and video.

On April 8, the optical communication solution aboard the Psyche spacecraft achieved a maximum data transmission speed of 25 Mbps, surpassing the original goal of at least 1 Mbps during the demonstration, NASA .gov reported.

The technology aboard the spacecraft is capable of transmitting data from deep space at rates 10 to 100 times higher than traditional, currently-in-use systems. 

Meera Srinivasan, the project’s operations lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said that the demonstration is a significant achievement for optical communications and its uses in space. Ryan Rogalin, the project’s receiver electronics lead, shares Srinivasan’s optimism, stating that the technology demonstration is pushing the system to demonstrate what it can offer when the skies are clear.

The success achieved with the optical communications demonstration comes after the U.S. space agency sought proposals in early April to help retrieve crucial samples collected by the Mars Sample Return program.

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Category: Space

Tags: Deep Space Optical Communications Jet Propulsion Laboratory Meera Srinivasan NASA optical communications Psyche Ryan Rogalin space