Connectivity and bandwidth are important in the digital age, even when you are in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). And if you conduct research and experiments that could pave the way for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and other space targets, this is especially important.
That's why NASA recently upgraded its ISS connection, doubling the rate at which it can send and receive data.
Whether they are LEO or Outer Solar System missions, fast and effective communication is absolutely essential. This is essential to ensure that mission critical data gets to control centers and scientists on Earth.
With the new connection, the ISS now has a connection at 600 megabits per second (Mbps), which doubles the amount of data that the station can transmit and receive at any time.
These upgrades will also pave the way for similar upgrades to NASA's proposed Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway (also known as the Lunar Gateway). As NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Director George Morrow said:
"NASA's communications networks play a key role in every NASA mission and provide access to data from manned space, space and technology research missions and technological demonstrations This increase in data rates for the International Space Station underscores our commitment to provide high-quality operational services for NASA exploration missions today and in the future. "
Since its commissioning in 2000, the ISS has provided astronauts and Provided scientists with a unique environment to conduct research that would otherwise not be possible on Earth. This research provides insights into the effects of long-term spaceflight on the human body and other organisms and allows the testing of technologies in weightlessness.
These experiments and technology demonstrations rely on high data transfer rates between the station and researchers on Earth. With the latest upgrade, the station will be able to conduct new experiments and technology demonstrations that require more detailed and higher resolution data than before.
Risha George, head of the space network upgrade project, said: [1
Data transmission between the ISS and Earth is through a series of ground-based antennas known as" space networks "and via a tracking system and data relay satellites (TDRS).
These satellites are located in a high orbit across various strategic locations so that they can pass data to the ground, which is then sent to different NASA centers using fixed lines where they are interpreted – the entire process has a delay of less than a second.
In order to accommodate the increased data rate, several components in this global communications system have also been updated, including new digital space network floor space architecture and upgrades of circuits and bandwidth in the terrestrial data lines between the various ground-based components.  Also the ISS software based Modem and the improved data processors have been updated have been installed in various NASA centers as well as new software and hardware at the ground stations. The technicians then ran extensive tests to make sure the upgrades were working properly. Meanwhile, the network supported more than 40 missions in real time.
According to Penny Roberts, the project manager for upgrading the space station, this was made possible thanks to the collaboration with the administration.
"Partnerships This is crucial to our continued success as an agency," she said. "Our continued partnership will move us to 600Mbps and who knows where else to go."
This article was originally published by Universe Today. Read the original article.