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Space Communications and Navigation Program

Integrated Lasercomm LEO User Modem Amplifier - Terminal (ILLUMA-T) on International Space Station (ISS) (ILLUMA-T on ISS)

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

NASA has invested in advancing free space optical communications technologies to meet the ever-greater data demands for science and human exploration missions, to cultivate a robust commercial optical communications industrial base, and to enable optical communications technology diffusion for widespread commercial applications. The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) is NASA's first optical communications relay satellite. LCRD will be stationed in geosynchronous orbit and is designed achieve data links to the ground or low-Earth orbit (LEO) users from 2 Mbps up to 2.88 Gbps. However, optical communications user terminals are required for LEO user missions to use optical communications services. NASA SCaN is developing the Integrated Lasercomm LEO User Modem Amplifier – Terminal (ILLUMA-T) for LEO mission users, with an initial demonstration from the International Space Station (ISS) in early 2022.

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Technology Maturity (TRL)

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