1 of 2


down·​link ˈdau̇n-ˌliŋk How to pronounce downlink (audio)
: a communications channel for receiving transmissions from a spacecraft
also : such transmissions


2 of 2


downlinked; downlinking; downlinks

transitive verb

: to transmit (data) from a spacecraft or satellite to a receiver on earth

Examples of downlink in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The memory also contains science or engineering data for downlink, NASA says. George Petras, USA TODAY, 19 Mar. 2024 There’s always that piece in the back of your head that’s getting ready every downlink—today could be the last day, today could be the last day. IEEE Spectrum, 26 Jan. 2024 Canceling the requests before a response is written reduces downlink (server/proxy to attacker) bandwidth. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 13 Oct. 2023 So the telescope was equipped with two downlinks, one via the commercial satellite communication system, Starlink, and the other via NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS). Discover Magazine, 17 Nov. 2023 The tissue box-size satellite provides 200-gigabit-per-second data downlinks, which is the highest optical rate yet achieved by NASA. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 9 May 2023 But the complexity involved in synchronizing the uplink and downlink was too high. IEEE Spectrum, 25 Oct. 2019 The downlink was even more energy efficient, at just 34 femtojoules per bit. IEEE Spectrum, 8 Mar. 2023 GHGSat has also squeezed a potentially game-changing system onto Iris’s microwave-sized platform: an optical communications downlink, which is virtually nonexistent on large commercial satellites and will be a first for a microsat. IEEE Spectrum, 14 Mar. 2023
The spacecraft will align its antenna with Earth and downlink the photographs via the Deep Space Network. Mika McKinnon, Discover Magazine, 14 Sep. 2017 The spacecraft was launched from Florida last month and images from this week’s deployment sequence were downlinked from the orbiter by flight controllers at California Polytechnic State University , San Luis Obispo. Washington Post, 26 July 2019 While all of the data from the recorders will be downlinked during the flight, the team needs to be able to recover at least one data recorder to provide a full backup if data is lost. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 2 July 2019 Those video files will be downlinked for Micro 11’s investigator study. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, 16 July 2018 The space telescope will fly in a large ellipse that takes it out beyond the moon and then in close to the Earth to downlink its data. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, 18 Apr. 2018 The first science data, post-flyby, is expected to start downlinking to Earth on July 15, including imaging. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, 6 July 2015 Space felt a little closer to home at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Coral Gables as Miami students participated in a live question and answer downlink with two astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station(ISS). David Aaro, miamiherald, 30 Apr. 2018 While the photos were successful, the astronauts found themselves in the unusual position of having no one to downlink their photo data. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 28 Aug. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'downlink.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1963, in the meaning defined above


1977, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of downlink was in 1963

Dictionary Entries Near downlink

Cite this Entry

“Downlink.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

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