Monday, September 16, 2013

Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration

That rocket launch from Virginia the other week included an experiment known as LLCD or Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration.

The main goal of LLCD is proving fundamental concepts of laser communications and transferring data at a rate of 622 megabits per second (Mbps), which is about five times the current state-of-the-art from lunar distances. Engineers expect future space missions to benefit greatly from the use of laser communications technology. This new ability will provide increased data transmission for real-time communication and 3-D high-definition video, while taking advantage of its lower on-orbit mass and power requirements. For example, using S-band communications, the LADEE spacecraft would take 639 hours to download an average-length HD movie. Using LLCD technology, download times will be reduced to less than eight minutes."

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