A tiny NASA CubeSat just set a big data speed record with lasers

Sunday, May 21, 2023 - 14:31 in Astronomy & Space

The TBIRD CubeSat is about the size of a box of tissues, but could change space communications. NASA A golden, tissue box-sized satellite has set a new record for the fastest data transfer rate ever achieved by orbital laser light communications—breaking its own previous milestone set less than a year ago. According to a recent announcement from NASA, the agency’s TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD) system achieved a 200 gigabit per second (Gbps) space-to-ground optical link speed on April 28 during a six-minute pass high above its corresponding ground station. Within that time frame, NASA estimates TBIRD can transmit multiple terabytes of test data back to Earth. That’s equivalent to thousands of hours of HD video data. “This capability will change the way we communicate in space,” said Beth Keer, TBIRD’s mission manager...

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