NASA will hold a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EST Tuesday, Nov. 16, to discuss the agency’s upcoming laser communications technology demonstration.

Audio of the teleconference will livestream on NASA’s website.

The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) will be NASA’s first end-to-end laser relay system, sending and receiving data over invisible infrared lasers at a rate of 1.2 gigabits per second from geosynchronous orbit to Earth. With data rates 10 to 100 times higher than traditional radio frequency systems, laser communications systems will provide future missions with extraordinary data capabilities.

Participants will discuss the benefits of the technology, demonstration objectives, and deep-space systems in development.

The briefing participants are:

  • Trudy Kortes, director of technology demonstrations, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD)
  • Badri Younes, deputy associate administrator, NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program 
  • Dave Israel, LCRD principal investigator, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland 
  • Miriam Wennersten, LCRD ground segment manager, Goddard
  • Abi Biswas, deep space optical communications technologist and group supervisor of the Optical Communications group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California

To participate by telephone, media must RSVP at least two hours prior to the start of the call to Lora Bleacher at: Media and the public can submit questions on social media during the teleconference using #AskNASA.

Directly following the teleconference, at 2 p.m., NASA Television, the NASA App, and the agency’s website will air a NASA Edge laser communications show.

Featured experts include:

  • Jason Mitchell, director of the Advanced Communications and Navigation Technology Division, NASA’s SCaN program
  • Jade Wang, assistant group leader of optical and quantum communications technology, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • Risha George, deputy project manager for Near Space Network communications infrastructure, Exploration and Space Communications projects division, Goddard
  • Javier Ocasio-Perez, LCRD integration and test manager, Goddard

LCRD is a technology demonstration payload scheduled to launch no earlier than Saturday, Dec. 4, aboard the U.S. Space Force Space Systems Command’s Space Test Program 3 mission. The mission will lift off on a United Launch Alliance rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

LCRD is led by NASA Goddard. Partners include JPL and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. LCRD is funded through STMD’s Technology Demonstration Missions program and the SCaN program at NASA Headquarters.

For more information about LCRD and laser communications, visit: