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NASA to Test 600 Mbps Laser Broadband
by Karl Bode 10:31AM Friday Sep 06 2013
NASA has announced that the agency will be testing laser-based broadband technology this week they believe will be capable of delivering speeds up to 600 Mbps. The test will involve communicating with a probe that orbits the moon using telescopes that are just under one meter in diameter. NASA believes that these telescopes can eventually be re-engineered to receive 2.5 gigabits per second if made larger (up to three meters).

MIT Technology Review offers a good read on how the satellite industry hopes to migrate from radio to laser communications to offer higher bandwidth satellite communications, though this is a push that has been decades in the making. This latest NASA test will use detectors at up to four locations to manage the technology's long-time nemesis: clouds.
quote:
"This is demonstrating the first optical data transmission for a deep-ish space mission. If you resize it and partly reëngineer it, you could potentially do it to Mars," he says. Because clouds block photons, detectors are being installed at three spots: one each in California and New Mexico, and a third on the Canary Islands. On this mission, though, the system will merely be tested.
This latest version of laser-based communications is being pushed by a company creatively named Laser Light Communications, who say they hope to have an initial 48 ground stations to improve cloud-dodging and reliability when they eventually push the product commercially.

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Harddrive
Proud American and Infidel since 1968.
Premium
join:2000-09-20
DFW
kudos:2

14 years in the making... thanks to Lucent and Bell Labs

Google "Lucent WaveStar OpticAir". It's not a "new technology". It's just that one side could be considered highly mobile.

"LUCENT TO LAUNCH WAVESTAR OPTICAIR SYSTEM IN 2000
Thursday 22 July 1999 | 00:00 CET | News
Lucent will launch its WaveStar OpticAir wireless system in March 2000, according to the company. The system uses DWDM laser technology to provide 2.5-Gbits/sec data transfer over 5 km, or over 16-fold faster than current lasers. The company also aims to offer data transfer four-fold faster, using DWDM technology, by summer 2000. WaveStar OpticAir is aimed at situations where installation of fibre cables is impractical or impossible. Lucent has refused to disclose the price charges for either system. However, GBP64,500 for a connection would be compatible with the planned prices."

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: 14 years in the making... thanks to Lucent and Bell Labs

Looks like a good backhaul method for cell towers when running fiber cable is too costly to accomplish.
--
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."

mix

join:2002-03-19
Utica, MI

Just One Problem...

Clouds block photons.
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

1 recommendation

they

They mentioned a solution for the cloud problem.. Its in the article and reads real easy ;-p

Either way, once nasa get the kinks worked out, ATT, or Verizon or one of the big wiggies will buy it up and slap a cap on it.. Might as well burn all technology in the US as they have made it worthless with the price's
davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3

Re: they

The so called solution to the clouds is not really a solution but a band-aid. I wish I could get government money to chase ideas that violate the basic laws of physics. I guess some of us in the USofA Federal Government have to be more practical and careful with how we spend R&D money than the people at NASA. I usually admire those people, but sometimes they are ridiculous in the way they waste money.

jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL

Countdown....

.... to bitchy posts about data caps in 3, 2, 1
lorenzo
Premium
join:2011-05-01

1 recommendation

Re: Countdown....

said by jester121:

Countdown....to bitchy posts about data caps

What's wrong with data caps? :0)

EUS
Kill cancer
Premium
join:2002-09-10
canada

Internet

with frikkin' laser beams!
Yes!

chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH

Re: Internet

We all already have internet with laser beams just that there in a fiber!

CrazyFingers

join:2003-10-01
Columbia, MO

1 edit

2 recommendations

Blinded by Science?

This latest NASA test will use detectors at up to four locations to manage the technology's long-time nemesis: clouds.



--
Burrow owl...burrow owl...

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

latency up the butt

it takes light 2.5 seconds to get to the moon and back
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA

Re: latency up the butt

versus you know how long for regular radio based waves ?

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: latency up the butt

About the same amount of time. Sorry I'll take EARTH based broadband and it's super low latency that laser broadband from the moon. Even satellite broadband would be faster.

tim_k
Buttons, Bows, Beamer, Shadow, Kasey
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-02
Stewartstown, PA
kudos:40

Re: latency up the butt

I think the point is to increase bandwidth for those who have to use satellite. No one in their right mind would choose this if most any other options are available

tmh

@comcastbusiness.net

This will work great....

Until a passing cloud kills the link.

Or some rain
Or some fog
Or some birdshit on the lens.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: This will work great....

This latest NASA test will use detectors at up to four locations to manage the technology's long-time nemesis: clouds.



In addition to clouds, random bird shit shouldn't be an issue. The test might not be able to handle simultaneous multiple bird bombs AND lots of clouds but the long term approach of 48 ground stations seems to rule out all but a asteroid apocalypse.
dra6o0n

join:2011-08-15
Mississauga, ON

Re: This will work great....

Just build it above the clouds.
atigerman

join:2002-01-19
Tigerton, WI
Just use a super over powered laser. Something so powerful it will just burn away the clouds..... LOL
dra6o0n

join:2011-08-15
Mississauga, ON
Reviews:
·ITalkBB

Forget orbital space elevators...

We'll have high speed 'galactic' internet connection speeds that surpass the planet's internet speeds!

Why, some ISPs may even say it is 'at the speed of light'!

Here's an idea: Instead of google putting up masses of balloons, we should have the world setup tons of laser satellites that connects to one another.

Laser points to a 'satellite', satellite nodes maintains 'intergalactic' connection network, then packet head towards proper satellite and beams back down.

Hey it's better than your 'satellite' internet that's based on waves.

Of course, some countries may get scared and thinks it'll be used to spy or even is a WMD.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: Forget orbital space elevators...

I'm not following the "tons of laser satellites" plan. Google's balloons are providing Internet service to single end points. Space-based laser communications are only reliable when multiple base stations (connected by some hard line) are used. The idea being one of them will always have clear sky. They probably employ diversity algorithm based on receiving signal strength and select the best one at any given moment. They could also use a more sophisticated active technology like laser guide star, which shines a laser through the atmosphere to measure atmospheric distortion. The large astronomical telescopes use this technique to correct for atmospheric blurring.

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT
said by dra6o0n:

Why, some ISPs may even say it is 'at the speed of light'!

They'll just start claiming that their internet is faster than the speed of light by utilizing quantum tunneling.

Interested

@comcast.net

Laser Safety

I presume this would be only 1 way transmission. I don't think you'd want laser transmitters firing from homes or mobile phones.