Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (NASA's Technology Demonstration Missions)

Connect With STMD

Facebook icon Twitter icon Flickr icon YouTube icon
Subscribe to NASA news. Create a new e-mail message, leave the message blank and send it here.

Contact Us

David J. Israel, Principal Investigator NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 301-286-5294
Loading ...

Laser Communications Relay Demonstration Latest News

Loading ...

Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD)

"Science and technology multiply around us. To an increasing extent, they dictate the languages in which we speak and think. Either we use those languages, or we remain mute."
-- J.G. Ballard, 20th-century British futurist

Radio-based space communications have been the convention since the days of NASA's Mercury and Gemini programs, but even with dramatic improvements to the technology in the last half-century, radio communications are challenged by modern mission needs, which call for significantly higher data rates, or current levels of performance requiring a lot less mass and power -- critical resources on any spacecraft.

Now the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) mission proposes to revolutionize the way we send and receive data, video and other information, using lasers to encode and transmit data at rates 10 to 100 times faster than radio, or at the same data rate as today's fastest RF radios, but using significantly less mass and power.

The LCRD team, led by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will conduct ground technology validation testing in 2014. LCRD will fly as a commercial satellite payload in 2017.

› Read All
› Fact Sheet (pdf)

Page Last Updated: May 13th, 2015
Page Editor: Brooke Boen