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90 The PCB Magazine • April 2017 EXECUTIVE AGENT FOR PCB AND ELECTRONIC INTERCONNECT TECHNOLOGY PRCB TRUST ACCREDITATION 5. Department of Defense, "Specification Standard MIL-PRF 55110 Printed Wiring Board, Rigid, General Specification for," August 2, 2007. 6. Defense Microelectronics Activity, 2002. 7. IPC Association Connecting Electronic Industries, 2016. 8. National Research Council, "Report to Congress," 2008. 9. Defense Acquisition University, "Program Protection," in Defense Acquisition Guidebook, November 8, 2012, p. Chapter 13. 10. Department of Defense, "DoD Directive 5101.18E DoD Executive Agent for Printed Cir- cuit Board and Interconnect Technology," June 12, 2016. This paper was originally presented at SMTA In- ternational in Rosemont, IL, USA, and published in the proceedings. 1. Steve Vetter is electronics engineer with NSWC Crane. 2. Richard Snogren is technology consultant at Bristlecone, LLC. 3. John Timler is solution architect with SAIC. NASA is developing a trailblazing, long-term technology demonstra- tion of what could be- come the high-speed internet of the sky. The Laser Commu- nications Relay Dem- onstration (LCRD) will help NASA understand the best ways to oper- ate laser communications systems. They could enable much higher data rates for connections between spacecraft and Earth, such as scientific data downlink and astronaut communications. "LCRD is the next step in implementing NA- SA's vision of using optical communications for both near-Earth and deep space missions," said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, which leads the LCRD project. "This technology has the potential to revolutionize space communica- tions, and we are excited to partner with the Hu- man Exploration and Operations Mission Direc- torate's Space Communications and Navigation program office, MIT Lincoln Labs and the U.S. Air Force on this effort." Laser communications, also known as opti- cal communications, encodes data onto a beam of light, which is then transmitted between spacecraft and eventu- ally to Earth terminals. This technology offers data rates that are 10 to 100 times better than current radio-frequency (RF) communications systems. Just as impor- tant, laser communica- tion systems can be much smaller than radio systems, allowing the spacecraft communication systems to have lower size, weight and power requirements. Such capability will become criti- cally important as humans embark on long jour- neys to the moon, Mars and beyond. The mission builds upon the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD), a very successful pathfinder mission that flew aboard the Lunar Atmosphere Dust and En- vironment Explorer in 2013. While LLCD was first to demonstrate high-data-rate laser com- munications beyond low-Earth orbit, LCRD will demonstrate the technology's operational longevity and reliability. The mission will also test LCRD's capabilities within many differ- ent environmental conditions and operational scenarios. NASA Taking First Steps Toward High-speed Space 'Internet' 1 2 3

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