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This week I was watching the 2016 Sci-fi Drama film, Passengers. In future how people are going to colonize a new planet and take a fresh start. There I realize how Jim was struggling to send his messages to Earth. Though I didn’t like the movie so much, it made me think about the Interplanetary communication.
According to Elon Musk, we are going to be settled in the Red Planet within next few decades. But will we be able to access the Internet on Mars, just how we do on the Earth? On Earth, we can communicate with anyone in a fraction of seconds because of the high-speed Internet service of the planet. But what about the interplanetary internet?
Well, on Earth we have the options of Cable, DSL, and Fibers. But in space, none of this are going to work. Currently, the Astronauts are using Radio communication to communicate with the Earth Base. Retired Satellites are used for Radio Communication on Mars. With the satellites, placed over the Mars orbit, the information is transmitted and received through the Radio waves. But we can’t rely on Radio waves for establishing the Interplanetary Internet.
The distance between Mars and Earth is approximately 34 Million Miles. So the current communication network between Mars and Earth has a 20mins of delay.
According to NASA, Lasers are going to be the solution to this problem. Lasers are 100,000 times shorter than the Radio waves. It means there is 5 times more room for Data in the same amount of space. Additionally, smaller waves mean better Signal Strength. The process which involves this is called, Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
In the year 2014, NASA launched a project with the intention to establish a decent data transmission rate between Monn and Earth for the Interplanetary Internet, which is known as LCRD ( Laser Communication Relay Demonstration ). In case of long-distance transmission, the signal could be distorted. So, they used the Relay systems in between the transmitter and receiver to regenerate the signal. And by this, NASA has successfully achieved the Downloading speed of 19Mbps and Uploading speed of 622Mbps in Moon.
So to achieve this amount of efficiency on Mars, NASA needs more upgraded infrastructure. that’s why they are now focused on upgrading their Satellites to build a decent architecture for the Interplanetary Internet. This satellites will work as the independent nodes in outer space to build up the communication infrastructure between Mars and Earth.
Souvik is a Tech Enthusiast, who is crazy about Electronics and Computer Science. Whenever he gets time to get rid of his boring Engineering books, he starts reading and writing about fascinating Tech and Science topics on the internet.