Getting closer to Earth-to-moon laser communications

Categorie(s) : Innovation & Society, News, Research

Published : 6 October 2014

Leti has developed an infrared detector with avalanche photodiodes cooled to 180 K that successfully received data at 80 Mbps during NASA/ESA laser communications testing. This initial result is encouraging given that radio—which has been used for decades—can only handle to 100 Mbps. ESA, which has identified laser communication as a key technology, now plans to run additional tests and could even include the detector in its development roadmap.
This development aims to provide a solution to increasing demand for bandwidth and range, most notably to send data including photos and video gathered on exploratory missions to outer space. Leti, which was contacted just eighteen months before the tests, modified an existing prototype in record time—which means that there is considerable room for improvement.



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