The standard way for spacecraft to communicate with teams on the ground has been to use radio waves. NASA, however, will test the use of lasers to increase data communication rates by as much as 100 times. In a Technology Leaders Q&A, JPL physicist Bill Klipstein explains his role as project manager of NASA's Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) mission.
Within the article, Klipstein answers questions related to:
- use of lasers to improve data transmission from space,
- issues to overcome for deep space communication,
- use of laser beacons to que laser pointing,
- benefits of increased data rates,
- the biggest challenges for data transmission from space, and
- the NASA Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) mission.
For more information, visit the NASA DSOC website, https://gameon.nasa.gov/projects-2/archived-projects-2/deep-space-optical-communications-dsoc.