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“Terabyte Infrared Delivery Lasercom Optical Link”
What’s Next: The Future of NASA’s Laser Communications
Illustration of ILLUMA-T communicating science and exploration data from the International Space Station to LCRD. (Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Dave Ryan)

By Kendall Murphy
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

GREENBELT, Md. — NASA uses lasers to send information to and from Earth, employing invisible beams to traverse the skies, sending terabytes of data – pictures and videos – to increase our knowledge of the universe. This capability is known as laser, or optical, communications, even though these eye-safe, infrared beams can’t be seen by human eyes.

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  • Parabolic Arc
  • August 13, 2022
Terran Orbital Successfully Completes Next Step In Demonstrating Space-To-Ground Optical Link On NASA’s Pathfinder Technology Demonstrator 3 Satellite
PTD-3’s TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD) payload will demonstrate optical communications downlink at a groundbreaking 200 gigabits per second (Image Credit: Terran Orbital Corporation)

BOCA RATON, Fla. (Terran Orbital PR) — Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a global leader in satellite solutions, primarily serving the United States and Allied aerospace and defense industries, today announced the first signal acquisition of the Terabyte Infrared Delivery (TBIRD) Lasercom Optical Link on NASA’s Pathfinder Technology Demonstrator 3 (PTD-3) satellite. Acquisition of the Lasercom Optical Link means that the spacecraft and the optical ground terminal have successfully exchanged laser communication signals — bringing PTD-3 one step closer to full payload commissioning.

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  • Parabolic Arc
  • July 19, 2022