NASA’s Laser Communications Small Satellite Mission Demonstrates Technology First

OCSD satellite (Credit: NASA)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — For the first time, a free-flying CubeSat has successfully completed space-to-ground optical communications. The Optical Communication and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) mission, designed and built by The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, California, sent a laser signal from low-Earth orbit to a ground station at the company’s facilities.

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Orbital Testing Begins for Advanced Small Spacecraft Communications

ISARA’s reflectarray antenna deployed in orbit in preparation for high-speed radio communications demonstration. (Credit: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA Small Spacecraft Technology Program’s Integrated Solar and Reflectarray Antenna, or ISARA, and Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration, or OCSD, spacecraft recently completed systems checkout and have moved into the operational phase to demonstrate a number of technology firsts.

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NASA CubeSat Missions Pushing the Boundaries of Technology

OCSD satellite (Credit: NASA)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program is on the countdown clock to advance communications and proximity maneuvering capabilities for CubeSats with two separate technology demonstration missions.

The Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) mission will showcase the first-ever high-speed data downlink from a CubeSat to a ground station using lasers, in addition to maneuvering the pair of diminutive spacecraft to up-close proximity.

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