Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer satellite(LADEE) Courtesy : NASA|
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NASA | LLCD: Proving Laser Communication Possible
Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) made history, transmitting data from lunar orbit to Earth at a rate of 622 Megabits-per-second (Mbps). That download rate is more than six times faster than previous state-of-the-art radio systems flown to the moon.
LADEE- Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer satellite. Its primary science mission is to investigate the tenuous and exotic atmosphere that exists around the moon. LADEE will orbit around the Moon's equator, and use instruments aboard the spacecraft to study the lunar exosphere and dust in the Moon's vicinity. Instruments include a dust detector, a neutral mass spectrometer, and an ultraviolet-visible spectrometer, as well as a technology demonstration consisting of laser communications terminal.
LLCD not only demonstrated a record-breaking download rate but also an error-free data upload rate of 20 Mbps. The laser beam was transmitted the 239,000 miles from the primary ground station at NASA’s White Sands Complex in Las Cruces N.M., to the LADEE spacecraft in lunar orbit. This breakthrough technology has a laser-based space terminal that is half the weight of a comparable radio-based terminal while using 25 percent less power.