NASA's Laser Communications Relay Demonstration Mission: The Ultimate Space Wi-Fi

Nasa develops laser space communications | Emerging Tech | ZDNet UK

NASA to Test Ultimate Space Wifi : Discovery News
    • Laser communications could boost space data transmission rates from the speeds of dial-up to broadband.
    • The demonstration will pave the way for a communications system to be included on a future satellite.
    • NASA plans to test a full-size solar sail for chemical-free propulsion and a deep space atomic clock.
NASA - Communications, Navigation And In-Space Propulsion Technologies Selected For NASA Flight Demonstration
  • NASA has selected three proposals as Technology Demonstration Missions to transform space communications, deep space navigation and in-space propulsion capabilities. The projects will develop and fly a space solar sail, deep space atomic clock, and space-based optical communications system.
  • The Laser Communications Relay demonstration mission will fly and validate a reliable, capable, and cost-effective optical communications technology. Optical communications technology provides data rates up to 100-times higher than today’s systems, which will be needed for future human and robotic space missions. The technology is directly applicable to the next generation of NASA's space communications network. After the demonstration, the developed space and ground assets will be qualified for use by near-Earth and deep space missions requiring high bandwidth and a small ground station reception area.
NASA - NASA Announces Technology Demonstration Missions

    • The LCRD mission will: 
      • Enable reliable, capable, and cost effective optical communications technologies for near earth applications and provide the next steps required toward optical communications for deep space missions
      • Demonstrate high data rate optical communications technology necessary for: 
        • Near-Earth spacecraft (bi-directional links supporting hundreds of Mbps to Gbps)
        • Deep Space missions (tens to hundreds of Mbps from distances such as Mars and Jupiter)
        • Develop, validate and characterize operational models for practical optical communications  
        • Identify and develop requirements and standards for future operational optical communication systems 
        • Establish a strong partnership with multiple government agencies to facilitate crosscutting infusion of optical communications technologies 
        • Develop the industrial base and transfer technology for future space optical communications systems