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NASA’s Internet experiment – Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration: Now that’s fast Internet!

The Headline at NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration homepage at NASA goes like this

The Internet is no longer limited by the slow speed of dial-up connections, so why should our satellites be ?”

D2005_1010_T020b.jpgIn the digital world that we live in, we often hear people claim how awesome their internet connection speed is and how quickly you can download files that are a few GBs. Ever wondered how the satellites used to communicate? Apparently they were transmitting information using the Radio signals and that’s understandable considering it’s far more reliable than other means. But as you would imagine it had to be much slower than the other super fast technologies available on planet.

NASA’s latest Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) is an attempt to increase the data downlink rates between the Satellite and the ground station using Optical Laser instruments to transfer data. The instrument is onboard NASA’s LADEE lunar satellite. LADEE is NASA’s moon mission which is on its way to orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust.

So NASA has set a new record for space communication using their LLCD onboard LADEE which is 380,000 Kilometers away from us, orbiting the moon.

Well actually I was curious to know “How fast is it really?”.


Hold your breath!!

Download Speed: 622 Mbps and Upload Speed: 20 Mbps!!

Boy oh Boy!! Now thats fast or what. The fastest internet speed I have ever experienced was in my office in India where we had a 50 Mbps downlink and now 622!! Awesomeness!!

With just a Laser beam, the spacecraft could send High Resolution Satellite Imagery much faster than the usual Radio beam communication. But like all good things, the Laser doesn’t work even if the instrument is just millimeters off. A few mms over 380,000 Kilometers!! This project is touted just as the beginning. The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration  is expected to further test the technology in 2017.

High Speed Inter-Planetary Internet: CHECK! All set for colonizing the universe are we 😉

Source: Wired

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Is the job interview more about your skills or the relationship?

InterviewThe job interview is very much about you building a relationship with the interviewing panel and making a great impression.

If you have got to this point your resume should have done its job in letting the prospective employer know that you have the skills needed to do the job, so now is the time to make a great first impression. If you are not getting to the interview stage, then maybe it is time to revamp your resume.

The GeoSpatial Industry is very much a technical profession so it is inevitable that the interview panel will ask some questions around your skills and experience but is the way that you answer them will determine how you rank above the rest of the candidates.

How to make a great first impression?

Arrive early

Always make sure you arrive early for your interview. There are always going to be traffic issues or something that comes up at the last moment, so do not leave this to chance. Be early and be eager.

Dress appropriately for the job interview

Even if you are applying for a field job take the time to dress for the interview. Remember you are trying to make a good impression. Do you hair, brush your teeth (am I starting to sound like your mother!), take a look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself “would I hire this person?”


A smile will help break the ice with the interview panel. Depending on your customs, shake hands or great the interview panel politely. In many cases the interview panel will introduce themselves but if they don’t make sure you do.

Ask questions

Do not be afraid to ask questions of the interview panel about the job, the company, the conditions, and the culture. People love to speak about themselves and their company. If the panel members are talking it is less you have to say and also helps to build the rapport between you and the panel members.

Use personal examples

When answering the questions always use personal examples in every time. This shows not only that you understand the question but also have the skills and experience they are looking for. Keep your answers short but always ask if you have covered the answer in enough detail.

Be Remembered

I was reading something today in preparation for this article and one writer made the comment to say something that the panel would remember you by. Something that is completely out of the norm, something that will stick in the minds of the panel.  As a personal example, “I recently came back from trekking in Nepal and was amazed by the beauty of the country and reliance of the people. I spoke with a couple of GIS professionals there who despite the hardships are using GIS technology to help their country grow.” This sort of example people will remember as it is not somewhere that many people go.

I trust you find this information helpful
Dean Howell
Founder and CEO Geospatial Connect

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