Lincoln Laboratory’s TeraByte InfraRed Delivery system sent data from a satellite to Earth at 100 Gbps — a rate that will transform future science missions.
Ariana Tantillo | MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Publication Date: November 30, 2022
In May 2022, the TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD) payload onboard a small CubeSat satellite was launched into orbit 300 miles above Earth’s surface. Since then, TBIRD has delivered terabytes of data at record-breaking rates of up to 100 gigabits per second — 100 Lmes faster than the fastest internet speeds in most ciLes — via an opLcal communicaLon link to a groundbased receiver in California. This data rate is more than 1,000 Lmes higher than that of the radio-frequency links tradiLonally used for satellite communicaLon and the highest ever achieved by a laser link from space to ground. And these record-seOng speeds were all made possible by a communicaLons payload roughly the size of a Lssue box.