This online connection will make it seem like your friends and your co-workers are very close. Like they lived next door. Super clear video calling. High-definition internet. Who knows what other things we will be able to share with the new laser communication.
The satellite internet which SpaceX (Starlink) and Amazon (OneWeb) are waging war. They both want to have the best airspace to place their satellites at high altitudes.
These systems are obsolete compared to this optical laser that NASA is experimenting with, in space. In fact, it is based on radio transmission.
It is not the first time that new and revolutionary technologies have been invented thanks to the US space agency.
I just want to remind you of the GPS system we all use on mobile phones. Some types of very powerful cameras. A pumping system that is used to make the heart work better for people who have heart disease.
Here we are faced with an incredible discovery that will upset the telecommunications system. Just as the inventions mentioned have done (and there are dozens more on the list)
A Laser Optical System That Pensions Radio Waves
This new telecommunication technology will be 10 to 100 times higher than radio waves.
In fact, lasers have infrared physical characteristics (invisible to the human eye) that allow faster data transmission.
To give a practical example:
“If we wanted to transmit a complete map of Mars with radio waves it would take about nine weeks, but with lasers, it only takes 9 days”.
Where and when will it be tested for the first time?
The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration mission: was successfully launched on December 7 as part of the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program 3 mission.
Two satellites were transported, one of them being the Space Test Program Satellite-6 spacecraft. Which will serve to test this laser communication system.
The goal that prompted NASA to take this step forward was to overcome the radio wave system. Now, it is starting to get very old. It has been used since 1958 for space communications.
However, the missions are becoming more and more complex: with an increasingly large volume of data to be exchanged. Therefore new technologies have to adapt to new needs.
If you notice it is the same progress that we have already experienced here on Earth.
To give an example: you used to use ADSL at home. It was cool when first introduced because the internet was finally going at high speed.
Over time it seemed slower and slower. Luckily, fiber optics and radio communications arrived. Which are great for the amount of data in quality photos, 4k videos, and large video chats
That higher speed ratio (between ADSL and fiber optics) is like what we will have with the laser 🙂
In short, a nice leap forward. Like the one made with the microwave. Or with natural gas heating compared to wood heating. Such a piece of capability…
Here’s How They Will Do The Decisive Test In Space
NASA will use the experiment’s laser communications to send data to Earth.
“The satellite will orbit 35,406 km away from the earth’s surface and will be able to transmit at 1.2 gigabits per second.”
It will send this data (but they will also try to get it to them) to Table Mountain, California, and Haleakalā, Hawaii.
Receiving systems are also up to 44 times faster than radio antennas. But even these must be tested to verify the capabilities.
For example, one aspect that will need to be improved is the transmission of data during disturbances. Because at the moment they suffer a lot from bad weather.
They expect the test to be done in optimal climatic conditions. That is, a sky devoid of bad clouds that could invalidate the test. But, I’m sure they will solve this problem.
We need this incredible improvement. Internet communication has now become everything to us.
Think of the Metaverse that will soon replace the internet, we will no longer be able to do without it. Think about the amount of data you will have to download to live in that virtual parallel world.
Optical laser transmission arrives at the perfect time and NASA is fine-tuning it for us!
It Will Be Useful To Do All These Things
One of the advantages of using this technology will be the bandwidth:
“It reaches a distance ten times greater than those used in radio frequencies”.
What does this mean? That a satellite is enough to do what two or three satellites or antennas did before.
Furthermore, laser communications are extremely secure: they are impossible to intercept. Being “made of photons” they can be encrypted with a “quantum key”, virtually impossible to decrypt.
In short, amazing news considering all the lack of security we are experiencing with online attacks.
However, testing activities will take two years before the new system can be used. First, they will use it in space stations, then on Earth.
In this case, it will replace the currently used ground data transmission antenna system.
The system could also be used for Orion’s Artemis II communications system to allow ultra-high-definition video streaming between NASA and the Artemis mission astronauts landing on the moon.
The laser system also has another difficulty in addition to the one I described above relating to the weather, such as rain which for NASA represents a barrier.
In fact, it requires great pointing precision. In fact, from a geosynchronous orbit, the footprint (the area covered on the ground by the signal) of the laser beam is only 600 meters, while that of radio frequencies is up to 480 km.
Obviously, the LCRD mission is a technological demonstration of a system built specifically to be able to operate with different Ground Stations. So it is also flexible enough to avoid disruption due to disturbances.
But guys, here, I have told you about technology that is in its infancy.
A few days ago I saw a photo on Twitter that left me speechless:
“It was in black and white and there were IBM workers (in 1956) loading 5 megabytes of memory on a truck”.
Yes, you heard it right. A truck. Because that memory was the size of a big box, as tall as a person, the same length, and it was as thick as an arm.
Think about where memory is now…memory Cards. Now think about what they could do with this new laser technology.
I conclude, for some time they have been studying the teleportation of objects. Maybe this technology won’t help that research. Or maybe it will…
In the meantime, let me introduce myself, I am the one below. My name is Nico and I am an Italian entrepreneur who is almost a millionaire.
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