LGS Innovations is building a special modem, based on laser communications technology, to bring high-definition video for NASA’s Orion capsule as it travels to the moon, the company announced.
As part of the Orion EM-2 Optical Communications project, LGS Innovations will provide an optical modem that will enable broadband data communications to and from the special vehicle designed to take humans into lunar orbit.
“We’re proud to support yet another NASA project with advanced optical technology to help meet the ever-increasing requirements for more bandwidth and faster connections,” said Kevin Kelly, LGS Innovations CEO. ”Fast and reliable communications are key to the success of exploration missions and can transform the work and life of space crews.”
Laser communications can transmit data over long distances at rates up to 100 times faster than traditional radio frequency systems.
LGS Innovations was selected by MIT Lincoln Laboratory, a Defense Department research and development laboratory managing the contract. LGS is expected to deliver the modem in late 2019.
LGS Innovations is also helping NASA adopt laser communications for other missions with technologies such as the first deep-space laser transmitter for the Deep Space Optical Communications project, and a free-space laser modem that will fly aboard the International Space Station as the first demonstration of a fully operational, end-to-end optical communications system.