LightPointe Celebrates „NASA Month“ as New Era of Space Communications Transitions to Lasers, Providing 6 Times the Capacity of Radios and Astonishing 238,000 Mile Range

SAN DIEGO, CA — (Marketwired) — 09/06/13 — 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 .

LightPointe () 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 employees.

Todd Easterling

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