SAN DIEGO, CA, Sep 06, 2013 (Marketwired via COMTEX) --
LightPointe Wireless, the number one manufacturer of Free Space
Optics laser bridges and a leader in 60 and 70/80 GHz wireless
backhaul links, is celebrating "NASA month" in September to highlight
the space agency's transition to the next era in space communications
which utilizes lasers to transmit data, rather than radios. Today,
September 6th, NASA will launch a Minotaur V rocket from Wallops
Flight Facility which will include a lunar satellite with laser
transmission capability. The satellite, once it nears the moon, will
serve as one of the links in the Lunar Laser Communication
Demonstration (LLCD). LLCD will be NASA's first step in creating a
high performance space-based laser communications system.
LLCD's main mission objective is to transmit hundreds of millions of
bits of data per second from the moon to the Earth, which is the
equivalent of 100 HD television channels simultaneously. Since 1998,
LightPointe has pioneered advancements in such laser transmission
systems for use in 3G and 4G/LTE networks, and for
building-to-building enterprise connectivity, including school
campuses, hospitals, and businesses. Such terrestrial wireless
bridges transmit Gigabit capacity broadband data up to a mile. NASA's
laser link, however, will transmit to the moon -- 238,000 miles away.
The benefits of laser data transmission include much higher capacity,
lower latency, lower energy consumption, immunity from radio
frequency interference, and superior signal security, since the
transmissions are virtually impossible to intercept.
"NASA's transition to Free Space Optics illustrates how far the
technology has come and the benefits of data transmission over
laser," said Dr. Heinz Willebrand, CEO of LightPointe and a pioneer
in optical communications systems. "No one could have predicted that
laser transmission technology would evolve to a point where NASA
would deploy it to communicate with satellites near the moon. It is
truly a milestone in the communications industry for a Free Space
Optics link, operating at only half a Watt, to transmit data over
238,000 miles. All of us at LightPointe honor the vision and hard
work of engineers involved in the project."
LLCD is NASA's first dedicated system for two-way communication using
laser instead of radio waves. Similar to LightPointe's Free Space
Optics links used for terrestrial data transmission, the NASA Ground
Laser Terminal utilizes four transmission laser lenses and four
receive lenses, providing higher reliability and excellent capacity.
The Ground Laser will communicate with the Lunar Atmospheric and Dust
Environment Explorer satellite (LADEE).
"LLCD is designed to send six times more data from the moon using a
smaller transmitter with 25 percent less power as compared to the
equivalent state-of-the-art radio (RF) system," said Don Cornwell,
LLCD manager for NASA, in a NASA statement. "Lasers are also more
secure and less susceptible to interference and jamming."
For more information on the NASA mission or the use of Free Space
Optics for secure Gigabit-capacity, ultra low latency (ULL)
terrestrial broadband communications, please visit
About LightPointe Communications, Inc.
(www.LightPointe.com) is a San Diego-based manufacturer of wireless
Gigabit capacity bridges for enterprise and 4G/LTE carrier markets.
The company is owned by a billion-dollar Silicon Valley firm and