Engineers U.S. space agency sent a digital image of the Mona Lisa to the lunar probe LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) to test communication with the laser channel. The information published on the official website of NASA.
Traditionally, due to space satellites using radio. But lunar satellite LRO is the only device located outside the earth whose position tracking with a laser. In this case, the laser beam is not used for information transmission, but only to the tracking unit, while communicating with the probe takes place by radio.
Engineers have demonstrated that the laser channel, along with spacecraft can also be used to transmit any information, including images. To do this, the brightness of 30,000 pixels monochrome "Portrait of Mrs. Lisa del Giocondo" was coded by experts with the time delay of the laser pulse. The original image specialists were able to recover thanks to the program used in conventional CD / DVD devices, which involves the removal of errors.
The speed with which transmits the laser channel was small - about 300 bits per second. However, the researchers hope that this channel can be used to start as a backup, in the future, the speed it can significantly increase.
LRO lunar probe satellite to orbit the Earth was released in 2009. Its purpose is to draw up a detailed map of the moon’s surface and search for ice in its depths. More recently, thanks to the LRO, scientists were able to find the source of lunar water, which was the solar wind.