NASA takes a step toward high-speed Space Internet. Don Cornwell, a director of the Space Communications and Navigation program at NASA, confirms laser technology leads to the development of Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD). Laser communications encode data onto beams of light. This then transmits between spaceships and comes back to Earth. The technology offers data that are 200 times better than current radio-frequency (RF) communications systems. Don Cornwell aims to launch high-speed space internet by the end of the year.

The LCRD project

Experts at NASA claim that it is now possible to reach gigabit per second speed. The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) project will help to understand how to operate laser communication systems in the space. Don says scientists design laser terminals for the international space station. He aims to use LCRD to collect gigabit-per-second data. Experts hope to fly a new terminal with high-speed internet in 2020. Don Cornwell will finish his research by the end of 2017. He says the purpose of this project is to know more about the use of laser communications systems in space. The data will enable high-speed internet anywhere in the universe. This could develop better connections between spacecraft and our Earth.

Laser communications

Space scientist at NASA says the laser communication involves encoding data on a beam of light and shooting it from a spaceship to Earth. The technology could shape the future of laser communications systems. An advantage of the technique is that laser beams have a lower frequency than the natural light.

They allow spacecraft communication systems to be designed with relatively lower weight. In recent years, we learned a lot about radio-frequency communication and its role in astronomy. Dave Israel at the University of California says that he will partner with Don Cornwell to know more about laser technology. The LCRD project could pave the way for 3D videos.

A terminal for the International Space Station is expected to be launched in 2022. Don aims to introduce techniques of how to use the high-speed internet in space. LCRD seems to be the next step in implementing NASA’s vision of using optical communications for deep space missions.