OCSD Demos Advanced Communications Technology

A satellite smaller than a loaf of bread beamed a laser to the ground, transmitting 100 megabits of data per second, a rate 50 times greater than typical communication systems for this size CubeSat. This same satellite also demonstrated much-needed maneuvering capabilities that brought it within 20 feet of its twin satellite.

The Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) mission, funded by NASA, launched two 1.5-unit AeroCubes on Nov. 12, 2017 as secondary payloads on a resupply mission to the International Space Station. The goal: to demonstrate high-speed optical (laser) communications and proximity operations.