NASA Engineer Tapped to Build First Integrated-Photonics Modem

A new-fangled modem that will employ an emerging technology called integrated photonics will be tested as part of NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration mission. (Credit: NASA)
A new-fangled modem that will employ an emerging technology called integrated photonics will be tested as part of NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration mission. (Credit: NASA)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — The space agency’s first-ever integrated-photonics modem will be tested aboard the International Space Station beginning in 2020 as part of NASA’s multi-year Laser Communications Relay Demonstration, or LCRD. The cell phone-sized device incorporates optics-based functions, such as lasers, switches, and wires, onto a microchip — much like an integrated circuit found in all electronics hardware.

(more…)