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Shark Communications NASA

NASA and ESA To Demonstrate Earth-Moon Laser Communication 74

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the moobase-needs-youtube dept.
cylonlover writes with this news bite about a cool new ground to space laser communication system from NASA and ESA: "Space communications have relied on radio since the first Sputnik in 1957. It's a mature, reliable technology, but it's reaching its limits. The amount of data sent has increased exponentially for decades and NASA expects the trend to continue. The current communications systems are reaching their limits, so NASA and ESA are going beyond radio as a solution. As part of this effort, ESA has finished tests of part of a new communications system, in preparations for a demonstration in October in which it will receive a laser data download from a NASA lunar orbiter."

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NASA and ESA To Demonstrate Earth-Moon Laser Communication

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  • SETI (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Entropy98 (1340659) on Friday August 02, 2013 @10:10PM (#44463055) Homepage

    Maybe this is part of the reason why SETI hasn't picked up anything yet...

    • Re:SETI (Score:4, Funny)

      by FatdogHaiku (978357) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @12:43AM (#44463537)

      Maybe this is part of the reason why SETI hasn't picked up anything yet...

      And it explains the focus effect of quasars, they are just intergalactic long distance...
      wonder what the plan lock in period is on a supermassive black hole?
      Also, who do you call for an unlock at the end of the contract?
      If it's the vendor, it may be a bad idea to bug someone that sets up black holes on demand...

  • Maybe we will get someone out there.. finally? :)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It'll be handy for communicating with those Nazis in their moon base.

      • by flyneye (84093)

        I first saw the headline as saying "NASA and ESA To Demonstrate Earth-Moon Laser Cannon", before I got my glasses on.
        I was thinking this was covered in a Warner Bros. cartoon....

      • It'll be handy for communicating with those Nazis in their moon base.

        I have not seen it myself, but I hear the Nazis do have a moon base... Iron Sky [].

  • by gmuslera (3436)
    The sharks simply won't stand still while the communication is being done.
  • TCP/IP with freakin' lasers!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 02, 2013 @11:00PM (#44463207)

    I was too lasey to read the article, so it would have been nice if the video was more illuminating, but at least its coherent.

  • we have known for centuries now that you can communicate using light or other visual signals in real time

    we have been bouncing a laser off the moon since the late 60's

    now, taking those two concepts and combining them, NASA is spending god knows how much time and money to communicate to the moon, WHERE THERE IS NOTHING TO RESPOND

    can we please for the love of god end the multimillion dollar experiments that a 12 year old does on instructables?

    • by ThreeGigs (239452)

      we have been bouncing a laser off the moon since the late 60's

      And receiving back only a few photons out of billions, making any meaningful data transfer impossible, unless you consider 1 bps meaningful.

      can we please for the love of god end the multimillion dollar experiments that a 12 year old does on instructables?

      Can we please educate people enough so that they understand that shining a light across a room is much easier than detecting it from 250,000 mies away?

  • so that we can get laser com from multiple sources. Then simply beam down to earth. I would guess that 10 or more would be needed, but this is cheaper than all of the ground stations that we have set up.
    • There are a few reasons it's being done with ground stations right now. This current project we're discussing is a "Demonstration", meaning that the technology has to be proven over several missions, and this is only the first. It's freaking hard to hit a 40 cm spot on the earth, not to mention a 10 cm telescope on a satellite orbiting the moon. My guess is they'll do a TDRS style constellation of satellites when the tech is proven (which I think it will be)
  • by Psicopatico (1005433) <psicopatico@ac[ ... com ['cad' in ga> on Saturday August 03, 2013 @02:13AM (#44463767)

    ...don't look at the moon with your remaining eye.

  • This is the phase where we put a giant "laser" on the Moon. As you know, the Moon rotates around the Earth like so *spins moon globe around earth globe*. When the Moon reaches it's appropriate Lunar alignment, it will destroy Washington DC. You see, I've turned the Moon into what I like to call a "Death Star". Anyway, the key to this is the giant laser. It was invented by the noted Cambridge physicist Dr. Parsons. Therefore we shall call it The Alan Parsons Project

  • The space faring equivalent of sticks and stones.
  • by evilviper (135110) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @07:51AM (#44464563) Journal

    This may seem out of left field, but I was recently pondering the efficacy of lasers for submarine communications.

    Only the very lowest radio frequencies penetrate a short distance below the surface of the ocean. The broadcasting equipment for those are enormous multi-megawatt monsters which can only transmit a minuscule amount of data, amounting to maybe a sentence per hour.

    But with certain wavelengths of lasers, you can get penetration up to ~115 meters. []

    Even if the range is less, I'm sure submarine fleets would appreciate the option of laser-based two-way communications with satellites, without needing to surface.

    Other than strategically placed buoys, is there even any other option for modernizing submarine communications past our current circa 1960s methods?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Probably the most physically challenging aspect, if trying to communicate from submarine to satellite, would be aiming the uplink through the water surface that will be moving quite drastically and changing the angle the beam is refracted. And it is possible to have wave shapes that will make it difficult to get a connection for moments at a time (effectively momentary dead spots), although that could probably be over come with short bursts of communications assuming the first issue was overcome. You woul

  • Time for the exegisis.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil