Posted on 29 October 2013 by Daniel
ESA station receives laser signals from NASA’s Ladee Moon mission
Great news in from our colleagues at ESA’s Optical Ground Station, Tenerife, Spain. We’ll post details as soon as we get them…
— ESA Operations (@esaoperations) October 29, 2013
An advanced laser system offering vastly faster data speeds is now ready for linking with spacecraft beyond our planet following a series of crucial ground tests. Later this year, ESA’s observatory in Spain will use the laser to communicate with a NASA Moon orbiter.
The laboratory testing paves the way for a live space demonstration in October, once NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer – LADEE – begins orbiting the Moon.
LADEE carries a terminal that can transmit and receive pulses of laser light. ESA’s Optical Ground Station on Tenerife will be upgraded with a complementary unit and, together with two US ground terminals, will relay data at unprecedented rates using infrared light beams at a wavelength similar to that used in fiber-optic cables on Earth.