Author Topic: NASA's laser Moon mission to boost space communication  (Read 516 times)

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SPQR

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NASA's laser Moon mission to boost space communication
« on: December 29, 2013, 08:05:05 PM »
NASA has completed its 30-day lunar laser mission which confirmed that the possibility of expanding broadband capabilities in space using laser communications is as bright as expected.

 Hosted aboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), for its ride to lunar orbit, the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) mission was designed to confirm laser communication capabilities from a distance of almost a quarter-of-a-million miles, NASA said.


  In addition to demonstrating record-breaking data download and upload speeds to the Moon at 622 megabits per second (Mbps) and 20 Mbps, respectively, LLCD also showed that it could operate as well as any NASA radio system.

 "Throughout our testing we did not see anything that would prevent the operational use of this technology in the immediate future," said Don Cornwell, LLCD mission manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.

 For example, LLCD demonstrated error-free communications during broad daylight, including operating when the moon was to within three degrees of the Sun as seen from Earth.

 LLCD also demonstrated error-free communications when the Moon was low on the horizon, less than 4 degrees, as seen from the ground station, which also demonstrated that wind and atmospheric turbulence did not significantly impact the system. LLCD was even able to communicate through thin clouds, an unexpected bonus.

 Operationally, LLCD demonstrated the ability to download data from the LADEE spacecraft itself. "We were able to download LADEE's entire stored science and spacecraft data (one gigabyte) in less than five minutes, which was only limited to our 40 Mbps connection to that data within LADEE," said Cornwell.

 Using LADEE's onboard radio system would take several days to complete a download of the same stored data.

 Additionally, LLCD was to prove the integrity of laser technology to send not only error-free data but also uncorrupted commands and telemetry or monitoring messages to and from the spacecraft over the laser link.

 LLCD also demonstrated the ability to "hand-off" the laser connection from one ground station to another, just as a cellphone does a hand-off from one cell tower to another.

 An additional achievement was the ability to operate LLCD without using LADEE's radio at all. "We were able to program LADEE to awaken the LLCD space terminal and have it automatically point and communicate to the ground station at a specific time without radio commands. This demonstrates that this technology could serve as the primary communications system for future NASA missions," said Cornwell.

 The ability of LLCD to send and receive high definition video was proven with a message from NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, completing the trip to the Moon and back with only a few seconds of delay.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/space/nasa-s-laser-moon-mission-to-boost-space-communication_900188.html
« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 08:05:31 PM by SPQR »

Offline Oceander

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Re: NASA's laser Moon mission to boost space communication
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2013, 10:11:40 PM »
Cool!  Now maybe we can stop broadcasting everything to those pesky aliens light years away.

Offline EC

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Re: NASA's laser Moon mission to boost space communication
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2013, 11:49:09 PM »
Cool!  Now maybe we can stop broadcasting everything to those pesky aliens light years away.

Side note - the Fermi thread got me thinking about it.

Maybe it is a good thing we broadcast. If you think about it, the vast majority of our entertainment is on the violent side. Might give our neighbors a very good reason to keep away.  :laugh:
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Re: NASA's laser Moon mission to boost space communication
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2013, 11:56:22 PM »
Cool!  Now maybe we can stop broadcasting everything to those pesky aliens light years away.

LOL A bit of trivia KDKA was the first commercial station to be sent into outer space in 1920. Aliens beyond the nearest stars would have the most difficult time listening because the signal drops and is drowned out with other background noises over time. Even though our signals will travel on for thousands of years  but they will be very weak.

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Re: NASA's laser Moon mission to boost space communication
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2013, 11:58:13 PM »
Side note - the Fermi thread got me thinking about it.

Maybe it is a good thing we broadcast. If you think about it, the vast majority of our entertainment is on the violent side. Might give our neighbors a very good reason to keep away.  :laugh:

I do not think so. We are nothing compared to them technologically. If they are hostile, they will smash us like ants.

Offline Oceander

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Re: NASA's laser Moon mission to boost space communication
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2013, 12:00:42 AM »
I do not think so. We are nothing compared to them technologically. If they are hostile, they will smash us like ants.

Perhaps.  But since they will presumably be just as conversant with physics as we are, or moreso, they will realize that it's been many, many years since those programs were first aired and will have to consider the possibility that in the time between original broadcast and the time they receive the broadcast we may have become substantially more technologically advanced, and therefore better able to give vent to the bloodlust that's evident in those violent programs.

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Re: NASA's laser Moon mission to boost space communication
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2013, 12:02:08 AM »
LOL A bit of trivia KDKA was the first commercial station to be sent into outer space in 1920. Aliens beyond the nearest stars would have the most difficult time listening because the signal drops and is drowned out with other background noises over time. Even though our signals will travel on for thousands of years  but they will be very weak.

At some point does a signal become so attenuated that it gets lost in the randomness of quantum noise, so that after some point it cannot even theoretically be recovered?  I realize that this potentially flies in the face of the conservation of information - that is, that information is neither created nor lost - but it seems to me that at some point in time that should happen with any broadcast signal.

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Re: NASA's laser Moon mission to boost space communication
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2013, 12:08:04 AM »
At some point does a signal become so attenuated that it gets lost in the randomness of quantum noise, so that after some point it cannot even theoretically be recovered?  I realize that this potentially flies in the face of the conservation of information - that is, that information is neither created nor lost - but it seems to me that at some point in time that should happen with any broadcast signal.


From a BBC Article I had tucked away:

Quote
Shostak calculates that Nasa's recent broadcast of Beatles music towards Polaris, the North Star, using a 210ft antenna and 20kW of power, would require any potential aliens to have an antenna seven miles across to be aware of it. To actually receive it as music, this would need to be increased to a 500-mile wide antenna. Polaris is 430 light years away.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7544915.stm

So - they do attenuate pretty fast in stellar terms.
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Re: NASA's laser Moon mission to boost space communication
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2013, 12:11:09 AM »
At some point does a signal become so attenuated that it gets lost in the randomness of quantum noise, so that after some point it cannot even theoretically be recovered?  I realize that this potentially flies in the face of the conservation of information - that is, that information is neither created nor lost - but it seems to me that at some point in time that should happen with any broadcast signal.

If listeners are not relatively near by by then leaving the mark is futile. if we could have an audience perhaps its best that could be hope for to continue to beam our memory into space. It would be like a time capsule.

SPQR

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Re: NASA's laser Moon mission to boost space communication
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2013, 12:14:50 AM »
From a BBC Article I had tucked away:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7544915.stm

So - they do attenuate pretty fast in stellar terms.


Minus use a laser antanna because you will get more power and the beam would be focused. Plus you are endanger of the message of being crippled  because radio signal drops over time the further you get. The message they will be getting will be garbled due to background noise. Lasers or light photons do not suffer from that.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 12:20:12 AM by SPQR »


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