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CACI Helps NASA Set New Optical Data Transmission Record from Space

By Jeffrey Hill | May 23, 2024

Photo by CACI

NASA set a new optical data transmission distance record using technology from CACI International, the company announced Thursday.

CACI said that NASA transmitted optical data over a distance of more than 200 million kilometers – from its Psyche spacecraft in orbit to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. The test was part of NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) experiment. CACI expects NASA to continue using its optical technology for DSOC as the range is extended.

“With this latest accomplishment, we have achieved another ‘first for mankind’ milestone with our technology,” CACI President and CEO John Mengucci said in the announcement. “Our proven optical technology continues to attain historic milestones in the optical communications terminal (OCT) realm. With more than 25 OCTs currently in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) for the U.S. government, we have demonstrated space-to-space and space-to-ground optical communications for proliferated LEO applications proving that a U.S.-based company can effectively design and manufacture this technology here at home.”

CACI has previously demonstrated mission optical data transfer to LEO and other classified implementations, as an alternative to traditional radio frequency (RF) links.