Scientists, engineers and programmers have been working on a communication system beyond Earth. They are trying to develop Interplanetary Internet to connect to probes and human space travelers sending back information to earth. There exist many hurdles to achieve this feat such as distance, line of sight obstruction and requirement of high powered antennas. However, it seems that we are not far from the possibility.
Recently, NASA and MIT have established the use of wireless broadband on moon. They used four separate telescopes at a ground station in New Mexico. Each telescope had a laser transmitter, which fed coded pulses of invisible infrared light resulting in 40 watts of transmitted power. The receiver is hitched to a satellite currently orbiting the moon. The signal experiences different column of air and bending losses which is why the four telescopes ensure that at least one of the signal is received at the moon.
The scientists demonstrated the data transmission at a distance of 384,633 km from Earth to the moon. The up-link (Earth to Moon) data rate was 19.44 mbps while the down-link (Moon to Earth) data rate came out to be 622 mbps.
Further details will be shared at the CLEO laser technology conference in California on 9 June. We will get to know how their technology was able to break the previous record transmission speeds by a factor of 4,800. The findings have been mentioned in Optical Society of America.
This technology will help information reception from planets in our milky way or may even beyond it. We might even find a few alien species. It seems you are not far from travelling to the space and asking, “What’s the password?”