June 23, 2024

Question for science – how is data transmitted from space?

Essentially, the transmission of images and data from space operates according to the same rules as any cell phone, WLAN, or garage door remote control — as any digital transmission without cables. Data, images, audio and video recordings are broken down into very small packets called bits, which can be either 0 or 1. For comparison: a gigabyte contains more than eight billion of them.

Andreas Strien is a research associate in the Aeronautical Engineering course at FH Wiener Neustadt.


In order to send this information from one place to another, you need a means of transportation. Electromagnetic waves are used for this. These waves are sometimes called carriers because they “carry” the data. Satellites can then receive or transmit from these antennas.

The important thing is that every wave has a frequency. This determines, among other things, how much data a carrier can take with it in one second. The higher the frequency, the more data. From there, for example, come terms like “bandwidth” for Internet access or “5G” for mobile communications. Basically, you can think of these transmissions as very powerful and fast radio broadcasts, which are then repackaged into images and data using computers or smartphones.

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