JPL DESCANSO - Deep Space Communications and Navigation Center of Excellence

Mars Laser Communication Demonstration Project

Presented by:
Dr. Stephen A. Townes
Deputy Manager
Mars Laser Communication Demonstration Project


This seminar provides the status of the Mars Laser Communication Demonstration Project, a joint project between NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), the California Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MIT/LL). It reviews the current ideas/designs for the flight and ground segments, the critical technologies required, and the concept of operations. The laser communication (lasercom) flight terminal will be flown on the Mars Telecom Orbiter (MTO) to be launched by NASA in 2009, and will demonstrate a technology which has the potential of vastly improving NASA's ability to communicate throughout the solar system.

The Speaker

Dr. Stephen A. Townes received the B.E.E.E. from Vanderbilt University, M.S.E.E. from Stanford University, and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. He has worked at Stanford Telecommunications Inc., Mountain View, CA, the MITRE Corp., Bedford, MA, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA. Until recently he was Manager of the Communications Systems and Research Section at JPL. He is currently the Deputy Manager of the Mars Laser Communication Demonstration.

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