Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD)
Part of: Prelims and GS-III – Sci and tech
Context NASA has launched its new Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD), its first-ever laser communications system.
- The LCRD will help the agency test optical communication in space.
- Currently, most NASA spacecraft use radio frequency communications to send data.
- Optical communications will help increase the bandwidth 10 to 100 times more than radio frequency systems.
- LCRD has two optical terminals – one to receive data from a user spacecraft, and the other to transmit data to ground stations.
- The modems will translate the digital data into laser signals.
- This will then be transmitted via encoded beams of light.
- These capabilities make LCRD NASA’s first two-way, end-to-end optical relay, the agency said in a release.
Do you know?
Laser VS radio
- Laser communications and radio waves use different wavelengths of light.
- Laser uses infrared light and has a shorter wavelength than radio waves. This will help the transmission of more data in a short time.