In the digital age, connectivity and bandwidth are important, even if you are in low Earth orbit (LEO). And when you do research and experiments that could help you pave the way for future missions to the moon, to Mars and other deep space destinations, this is especially important. That's why NASA recently upgraded the ISS connection, effectively doubling the speed at which it can send and receive data.
Whether it is missions in LEO or all the way into the outer solar system, fast and efficient communications are absolutely necessary to ensure that mission critical data is received by control centers and scientists back to Earth. With its
These upgrades will also help pave the way for similar enhancements that will be made to NASA's proposed Lunar Gateway Lunar Gateway (also known as the Lunar Gateway). As George More, acting director of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center:
"NASA communications networks play a major role in every NASA mission, allowing data to be acquired from space, space, and terrestrial science missions research and technological demonstrations. Earth for the benefit of mankind. This increase in data rate capabilities for the International Space Station underscores our commitment to providing high-quality operational services for NASA's research missions today and into the future. "
Since launching its operations in 2000, the ISS has provided astronauts and scientists with a unique environment for conducting research that would not otherwise be possible on Earth. This study gives an idea of the effects of a long space flight on the human body and other organisms and allows the technologies to be tested in microgravity.
These experiments and demonstrations of technology rely on the high speed of data transmission between the station and Earth's researchers. With the recent upgrade, the station will be able to accommodate new experiments and demonstrations of technology that require more detailed data and higher resolution than previously possible. As Risha George, the leading upgrade project for Space
"This project demonstrates that advanced radio frequencies
can be used effectively to increase data speed and improve productivity for high-speed communication services. The operational use of these advanced waveforms proves that they can also be used for future missions, such as the gateway, a small spacecraft that will orbit the moon and provide a stage for human exploration of Mars. "
The data is transmitted between the ISS and the Earth using a series of terrestrial antennas called the space network and the tracking and relay satellite system (TDRS). These satellites are placed in high orbit above various strategic locations to enable retransmitting data to land, which is then sent to various NASA centers using land lines where they are interpreted.The entire process has a delay of less than a second.
Upgrades were also made to software based on ISS software, enhanced data processors were installed at various NASA centers, as well as new software and hardware at ground stations. The technicians then performed extensive tests to ensure that the upgrades were working properly. Meanwhile, the network was still providing real-time support to more than 40 missions
According to Penny Roberts, the space station modernization project was made possible through cooperation with the administration. "Partnerships like these are critical to our continued success as an agency," she said. "Our ongoing partnership will get us up to 600 Mbps and who knows where else we will go together."
Further reading: NASA