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NASA’s New Communication System: LCRD

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NASA’s New Communications System: LCRD

Recently, the US space agency ‘NASA’ has demonstrated its new communication system ‘Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD)’ launched in December 2021.

This is NASA’s first ‘laser communications system’.

The ‘Laser Communications Relay Demonstration’ will help the US space agency test optical communications in space.

Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD)

  • LCRD is a showcase of ‘technology’ paving the way for future optical communications missions.
  • The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration, instruments have been installed on the Space Test Program Satellite 6: STPSat-6 of the US Department of Defense.

Advantages of optical communication systems:

  • ‘Optical communication systems’ are smaller in size and less in weight, and require less energy than radio equipment. Being ‘smaller in size’ means more space for science instruments, and less weight will result in less launch costs.
  • Less power means less use of the spacecraft’s batteries.
  • With ‘optical communication’ complementing the ‘radio’ system, future missions will be equipped with unparalleled communication capabilities.

Laser System Vs Radio System:

  • Laser communication and radio waves use different wavelengths of light.
  • Infrared light is used in laser, and its wavelength is shorter than radio waves. This will help in transferring more data in less time.

Source – The Hindu

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