An experimental communication system on board a NASA lunar probe has used laser pulses to send data back to Earth at speeds of up to 622 megabits per second.
The Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration system also works to transmit data at 20 Mbps between a ground station located in New Mexico and the spacecraft in lunar orbit, NASA said Tuesday.
“LLCD is the first step on our roadmap toward building the next generation of space communication capability,” said Badri Younes, NASA deputy associate administrator for space communications and navigation in Washington.
NASA aims for the technology to help increase image resolution and help facilitate three-dimensional video transmissions from space.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory built the laser communication system, which is hosted aboard the agency’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
LADEE launched from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia last month in a mission to explore the moon’s atmosphere and dust.