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## NASA Achieves Laser Communication With Lunar Satellite99

New submitter EngnrFrmrlyKnownAsAC writes "Communicating with lasers has become the hot new thing. While most researchers are seeking faster throughput, NASA set its sights in a different direction: the moon. They recently announced the first successful one-way laser communication 'at planetary distances.' What did they send? An image of the Mona Lisa, of course. 'Precise timing was the key to transmitting the image. Sun and colleagues divided the Mona Lisa image into an array of 152 pixels by 200 pixels. Every pixel was converted into a shade of gray, represented by a number between zero and 4,095. Each pixel was transmitted by a laser pulse, with the pulse being fired in one of 4,096 possible time slots during a brief time window allotted for laser tracking. The complete image was transmitted at a data rate of about 300 bits per second.'"
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## NASA Achieves Laser Communication With Lunar Satellite

• #### 300 bits per second is pretty damn good (Score:5, Insightful)

<banantarr@YEATShotmail.com minus poet> on Saturday January 19, 2013 @06:20PM (#42635581) Homepage
...considering how tight this beam was, and that you'd have to be pretty much directly in its path to intercept the transmission.
• #### Re:This is awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

on Saturday January 19, 2013 @06:24PM (#42635595)

Each pixel was transmitted by a laser pulse, with the pulse being fired in one of 4,096 possible time slots during a brief time window allotted for laser tracking.

I have an idea. What if, instead of this encoding, they used twelve time slots for each pixel and, by either sending or not sending a pulse, transmitted a small amount of information with each (non)pulse? Then, they could interpret the slots by repeatedly adding a one or zero and multiplying the whole thing by two. I think I've read about it somewhere...

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