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Quick Highlight: Going Wireless, Again

October 18, 2011

You thought you had already gone wireless. NASA is taking that idea to a whole new level. They are planning to replace existing radio transmissions with laser-based transmitters for some earth-to-space communications.

According to the article “NASA Space Laser to Make Radio Obsolete” on SmarterTechnology.com, the laser-based satellite communication network will speed up data transmission by more than a factor of ten: “According to NASA, free-space laser communications not only provide significantly higher data rates, compared with radio-frequency communications, but lasers also decreased the mass, size and power consumption of the spacecraft using them.” [italics are mine, and denote a quote from the article]

The article’s author is R. Colin Johnson, who has no contact information published. The article was very interesting, and I recommend it for a quick read.

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