NASA will modernize the data transfers system between spaceships and the Earth as it is testing a technology that could improve the speed and stability of data transfer – ATLAS Links. The new antennas are indeed capable of establishing a powerful connection between a spacecraft and the Earth, in just a couple of minutes.
The current data transfer system between Earth and spaceships is limited
Today, communication with spaceships is entirely conducted through a connection that is established completely on the Earth. However, the data transfers conducted through this system is a subject of serious limitations.
Thus, the spaceship must always remain within the maximum range of a transmitting station or it can manually transfer the data as soon as it has landed.
The new antennas, called ATLAS Links, are a product of the space communication company ATLAS Space Operations and, according to NASA, these antennas constitute a very light and fast solution as they can be deployed in space, in just a couple of minutes.
The ATLAS Links system will offer a wider accessibility
In short, four ATLAS Links antennas, each weighing approximately 4.5 kilos, can establish a stable connection in outer space. The requirements are an internet connection and a power supply and NASA says the connection is so powerful that it can connect multiple spaceships simultaneously.
The NASA admitted that it can also use the antennas as a backup system in case other forms of communication fail.
For the time being, ATLAS Links are still undergoing laboratory testing but in the long run, NASA has planned what it calls ‘shadow missions’ with satellites.
The antennas will then be used in combination with the current Near Earth Network. If several tests are successfully completed, the new solution could provide greater scope and flexibility for future space missions.
In conclusion, NASA will modernize data transfers system between spaceships and the Earth but didn’t say when is this going to happen. However, we guess it will happen soon if the ATLAS Links antennas will successfully pass all the laboratory tests.