IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


8th December, 2021 Science and Technology



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  • Recently, NASA launched its new Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) — the agency’s first-ever laser communications system — from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.



  • The LCRD will help the agency test optical communication in space.
  • Currently, most NASA spacecraft use radio frequency communications to send data.
  • Optical communications will help increase the bandwidth 10 to 100 times more than radio frequency systems.
  • LCRD has two optical terminals – one to receive data from a user spacecraft, and the other to transmit data to ground stations.
  • The modems will translate the digital data into laser signals.
  • This will then be transmitted via encoded beams of light.
  • These capabilities make LCRD NASA’s first two-way, end-to-end optical relay.


Laser communications and radio waves use different wavelengths of light.

Laser uses infrared light and has a shorter wavelength than radio waves. This will help the transmission of more data in a short time.