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[merged] Optical Communication From Space

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Space Station Live: Optical Communication From Space

Space Station Live commentator Pat Ryan interviews Matt Abrahamson, the OPALS mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. OPALS (Optical PAyload for Lasercomm Science) is a demonstration of optical communication by transferring a video from the OPALS payload on the International Space Station to a ground receiver at JPL's Optical Communications Telescope Laboratory in Wrightwood, California. Optical communications is an emerging technology wherein data is modulated onto laser beams, which offers the promise of much higher data rates than what is achievable with radio-frequency (RF) transmissions. This interview aired during Space Station Live on June 4, 2014.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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Awesome - glad to see we're moving beyond RF for space based communication...it's a little antiquated lol

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NASA's OPALS Beams Video from Space

The Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science will beam video via laser from the International Space Station back to Earth.

Credit: NASA/JPL

Source: NASA/JPL - Videos

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NASA Beams "Hello, World!" Video from Space via Laser

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.

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'Hello, World': NASA OPALS' First Official Video Sent Via Laser

NASA beamed this video from the International Space Station back to Earth via laser on June 5, 2014.

It is the first official transmission from the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science, or OPALS. An homage to the standard first output of a computer program, and a nod to the young team's enthusiasm, the message and title of the video is, "Hello, World."

This technology demonstration is an important step in changing the way NASA communicates with future spacecraft. The data rates for optical communication are much higher than radio frequencies.

For more information about OPALS, go to:

http://go.nasa.gov/10MMPDO

For more information about the International Space Station, see:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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50MPS per second communications

NASA installs space laser on the ISS, uses it to transmit high-speed data back to Earth

By Sebastian Anthony on June 9, 2014 at 12:28 pm

NASA has successfully completed the first test of the International Space Station’s new OPALS laser communications system. OPALS links the ISS to an observatory here on Earth at very high speeds (around 50 megabits per second), allowing for the real-time transmission of high-resolution video among other things. This is orders of magnitude faster than existing radio-based links, and is a significant step forward for future space exploration. If we ever want a real-time video feed from the surface of Mars — or if you ever want to have an intergalactic Skype call with your loved ones after humanity colonizes the Milky Way — then lasers, and other advanced communications technologies, will be required.

OPALS, which stands for Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science, was shipped to the ISS by SpaceX resupply mission CRS-3 back in April. It was hooked up to the exterior of the ISS on May 7, and the first test was presumably carried out in the last couple of weeks. The first test transmission was a high-definition “Hello, World!” video lasting 30 seconds. If you watch the video below, which I recommend, the test clip is included at the end.

Article continues: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/183876-nasa-installs-space-laser-on-the-iss-uses-it-to-transmit-high-speed-data-back-to-earth

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