June 7, 2014
NASA has for the first time succeeded in transmitting high definition video by laser from the International Space Station (ISS) to Earth. The transmission, of 175 megabits, was produced successfully this past Thursday thanks to the OPALS instrument installed on the ISS, which is the one that sends the laser signal. It is the first step to achieve high-speed and quality communications between space and Earth.
NASA compares this achievement to the difference of connecting to the Internet as before, by modem, to doing it as now by broadband. The tool that has made this laser communication possible is the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS). This technology achieves transmission speeds between 10 and 1,000 times faster than they are today.
Considering that the ISS orbits the Earth at 28,100 kilometers per hour, the task is not easy. As NASA explains, it is something equivalent to a person pointing a laser at the end of a human hair, from 30 feet away and walking at the same time.
via NASA broadcasts laser video from space for the first time.
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