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NASA to Test Laser-Based Data Transmission at ISS

Data transmission demo

NASA to Test Laser-Based Data Transmission at ISS

NASA will send its Integrated LCRD Low Earth Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal to the International Space Station within the year to demonstrate how laser communications systems can be used aboard the space station.

ILLUMA-T will work with the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration to complete NASA’s two-way, end-to-end laser relay system. Matt Magsamen, deputy project manager for ILLUMA-T, said the terminal will send high-resolution images, videos and data to the LCRD at a rate of 1.2 gigabits per second. Data from LCRD will be sent to ground stations in Hawaii and California.

ILLUMA-T will be sent to the ISS as a payload on SpaceX’s 29th Commercial Resupply Services mission, NASA said.

The ILLUMA-T demo follows a suite of laser communications and data testing NASA announced in recent months.

In mid-August, NASA announced that it will launch the Deep Space Orbital Communications system to see how laser communications can support deep space missions. Under the experiment, DSOC will use near-infrared lasers to transmit data from NASA’s Optical Communication Telescope Laboratory to the Hale Telescope at the California Institute of Technology.

In mid-June, NASA delivered the Orion Artemis II Optical Communications System, which will send high-definition videos from the moon at a rate of 260 megabits per second. The O2O laser test is slated for the Artemis II mission in November 2024.

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Category: Space

Tags: Integrated LCRD Low Earth Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal International Space Station laser communications Laser Communications Relay Demonstration NASA space space communications SpaceX