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China's Space Station: Scientists work on speeding up space-to-Earth communication
It's been a week now since three Chinese Taikonauts took off to the core module of China's new space station. They are living and working there, with new technologies like wifi access and rapid communication services. Wu Lei speaks to the experts behind the new technologies to find out how it works.
Chinese President Xi Jinping talked with three taikonauts on Wednesday, who at the time were over 400 kilometers away. The video and sound quality was reportedly clearer compared with previous missions. Huang Jianqing is leading a team, and in charge of the voice processor system in the space station.
HUANG JIANQING Technical Director of Voice Processor Equipment Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, CASC "One of the innovations is that we can build a group chat in space. Taikonauts are not only able to talk with their colleagues in other cabins, but also talk with ground staff at the same time. They can also speak to their families or doctors in private lines."
Huang Jianqing says they have built about 30 communication links in the equipment, to support a high reliability connection.
WU LEI Shanghai "This is the voice processor used inside China's space station. The voices and sounds of taikonauts can be transferred into data first, and this equipment will transmit and receive the data from the ground and other spacecraft."
Zhu Haowen's team is responsible for the high speed space to earth integrated network communication system. They have increased the speed to over 10 times that of previous missions .
ZHU HAOWEN Technical Director of High-Speed Communication System Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, CASC "With such high speed connections, our taikonauts will have video-chats with ground staff and be able to listen to music, watch movies, and surf the internet just like on earth."
China's Space Station is designed to work for over 10 years. With the core module and two experimental ones more data will be transmitted than ever. These engineers say they will continue to innovate the equipment and make taikonauts' lives much easier.
Wu Lei, CGTN, Shanghai.