SpaceX Dragon: Videos Beamed to Earth by Nasa Laser Communications System?concertina226 (2447056) writes "Nasa is piggybacking on the SpaceX CRS-3 Dragon space craft launch to send the first space-to-Earth optical communication system to the International Space Station.
Once the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (Opals) system reaches the space station, it will connected and used to demonstrate the transmission of formatted video in experiments lasting 100 seconds at a time over 90 days.
Nasa is hoping to demonstrate video transmission speeds of up to 50MB per second transmission. The current speed is 200400KB per second in many deep-space missions.
Radio frequency beams are used in communications between astronauts and mission control centres back on earth, but since laser beams are significantly narrower than radio frequency beams, much higher data rates are possible."
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