A modular, agile, scalable optical terminal architecture for space communications

Tina Shih, Cathy Devoe, Owen Guldner, William B. Hubbard, Farzana I. Khatri, Steven Constantine, Jamie W. Burnside, James Torres, Bryan S. Robinson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

As we look towards the future of optical communications, there are ever more missions requiring low size, weight, and power (SWaP), low cost, and very agile space terminals. Increased numbers of end-users look to minimize the costs associated with non-recurring engineering, and spacecraft operators that prefer not to deviate from their primary mission during communications operations. We present an optical terminal architecture which is specifically designed to have ready access to a greater-than-hemispherical field of regard (±175° in azimuth and ±120° in elevation, at up to 10°/sec slew rate), is modular to facilitate future technology upgrades and technology transfer to industry, can be scaled for use in LEO, GEO and deep-space applications, and leverages experience from a variety of successful space terminals that precede this design. In the past two years, this agile, modular, and scalable optical terminal architecture concept has been realized as a 10-cm aperture space terminal design. The terminal design was divided into subassemblies and further developed by industry partners, yielding an Engineering Development Unit (EDU) that has been assembled and tested. The optical and pointing performance of the EDU have been measured and are reported. Flight units of this 10-cm aperture space terminal are being developed for two upcoming missions, one for a LEO-based application and another for a lunar-based application, both presently scheduled for launch in 2021.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 IEEE International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Applications, ICSOS 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages203-207
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781509065110
DOIs
StatePublished - May 9 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2017 IEEE International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Applications, ICSOS 2017 - Naha, Okinawa, Japan
Duration: Nov 14 2017Nov 16 2017

Other

Other2017 IEEE International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Applications, ICSOS 2017
CountryJapan
CityNaha, Okinawa
Period11/14/1711/16/17

Keywords

  • Free-space optical communications
  • Laser communications
  • Lasercom
  • LEMNOS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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  • Cite this

    Shih, T., Devoe, C., Guldner, O., Hubbard, W. B., Khatri, F. I., Constantine, S., Burnside, J. W., Torres, J., & Robinson, B. S. (2018). A modular, agile, scalable optical terminal architecture for space communications. In 2017 IEEE International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Applications, ICSOS 2017 (pp. 203-207). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSOS.2017.8357236