NASA announced Thursday that the agency successfully received data in a remote demonstration of laser or optical communications.
NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications (D.S.O.CThe experiment beamed an infrared laser tagged with experimental data to the Hale Telescope at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California — from nearly 10 million miles away — about 40 times the distance from Earth to the Moon.
Dubbed “First Light,” the breakthrough is a significant step toward increasing the amount of data that can be sent across the solar system.
“Achieving first light in the coming months toward high-data-rate communications capable of transmitting scientific information, high-definition images and streaming video is one of several important DSOC milestones in the coming months: sending humans to Mars,” said a technical briefing at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Director Trudy Cortes said.
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NASA noted that the use of optical communications would increase the capability of sophisticated radio systems currently used by spacecraft by 10 to 100 times, compared to the upgrade from traditional telephone lines to fiber optics.
The DSOC experiment is NASA’s first demonstration of optical communications beyond the Moon, the agency said. It is a system made up of a flight laser transceiver, a ground laser transmitter and a ground laser receiver.
Oct. The transceiver rode aboard NASA’s Psyche spacecraft, which launched on 13 The spacecraft’s primary mission is to reach and study the metal-rich asteroid Cyg 16 in the asteroid belt.
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DSOC was embedded in the spacecraft, completing a significant milestone within its first phase A two-phase task.