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Norwegian CubeSat Talks to Earth Using Lasers

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Artist's impression of the NorSat-TD satellite in orbit.

The primary mission of the microsatellite, the ESA explains, will be to test and validate new payloads and concepts from Norway, the Netherlands, France, and Italy.

Credit: European Space Agency

The NorSat-TD microsatellite, developed by the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies' Space Flight Laboratory in Canada and the Norwegian Space Agency, established its first satellite-to-ground optical communications link.

The microsatellite uses precision altitude control to ensure accurate and continuous alignment with the ground station, and the onboard Small Communication Active Terminal laser communication system to lock the narrow optical beam onto the ground station beacon with precision.

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