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Opals: Light Beams Let Data Rates Soar

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Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science

This artist's rendition shows OPALS operating from the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

You may know opals as fiery gemstones, but something special called OPALS is floating above us in space. On the International Space Station, the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) is demonstrating how laser communications can speed up the flow of information between Earth and space, compared to radio signals.

From Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA
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