Saturday, June 7, 2014

HD Video Beamed From Space Station w/ New Laser-Com Instrument

OPALS and the Moon This animated GIF shows Earth's moon moving below NASA's OPALS laser instrument as seen by a robotic camera on the exterior of the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
› Full image and caption

NASA successfully beamed a high-definition video 260 miles from the International Space Station to Earth Thursday using a new laser communications instrument.

Transmission of "Hello, World!" as a video message was the first 175-megabit communication for the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS), a technology demonstration that allows NASA to test methods for communication with future spacecraft using higher bandwidth than radio waves.

"The International Space Station is a test bed for a host of technologies that are helping us increase our knowledge of how we operate in space and enable us to explore even farther into the solar system," said Sam Scimemi, International Space Station division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Using the space station to investigate ways we can improve communication rates with spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit is another example of how the orbital complex serves as a stepping stone to human deep space exploration."

Optical communication tools like OPALS use focused laser energy to reach data rates between 10 and 1,000 times higher than current space communications, which rely on radio portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

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Source: NASA / Jet Propulsion Laboratory - California Institute of Technology

Related Blog Post ---

Lunar Laser Com-System Sets Data Transmission Record (2013 Oct. 24):

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