PIA24570: DSOC Flight Laser Transceiver Integrated with NASA's Psyche Spacecraft
 Instrument:  Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) 
 Product Size:  4608 x 3456 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA24570.tif (42.92 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA24570.jpg (2.071 MB)

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The Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) technology demonstration's flight laser transceiver can be easily identified on NASA's Psyche spacecraft, seen in this December 2021 photograph inside a clean room at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. DSOC's tube-like gray/silver sunshade can be seen protruding from the side of the spacecraft. The bulge to which the sunshade is attached is DSOC's transceiver, which consists of a near-infrared laser transmitter to send high-rate data to Earth and a sensitive photon-counting camera to receive ground-transmitted low-rate data.

The DSOC experiment is the agency's first demonstration of optical communications beyond the Earth-Moon system. DSOC is a system that consists of this flight laser transceiver, a ground laser transmitter, and a ground laser receiver. New advanced technologies have been implemented in each of these elements. The transceiver will "piggyback" on NASA's Psyche spacecraft when it launches in August 2022 to the metal-rich asteroid of the same name. The DSOC technology demonstration will begin shortly after launch and continue as the spacecraft travels from Earth to its gravity-assist flyby of Mars.

JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the project for the Technology Demonstration Missions program within NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, and the Space Communications and Navigation (ScaN) program within the agency's Space Operations Mission Directorate.

For more information about DSOC and Psyche, go to: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdm/dsoc/ and http://www.nasa.gov/psyche

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