June 6, 2014
Space Station Live: Optical Communication From Space
Space Station Live commentator Pat Ryan interviews Matt Abrahamson, the OPALS mission manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. OPALS (Optical PAyload for Lasercomm Science) is a demonstration of optical communication by transferring a video from the OPALS payload on the International Space Station to a ground receiver at JPL’s Optical Communications Telescope Laboratory in Wrightwood, California. Optical communications is an emerging technology wherein data is modulated onto laser beams, which offers the promise of much higher data rates than what is achievable with radio-frequency (RF) transmissions. This interview aired during Space Station Live on June 4, 2014.