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Proceedings Paper

Lightweight laser communications terminal for low-Earth-orbit satellite constellations
Author(s): Robert G. Marshalek; David L. Begley
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Paper Abstract

An optical terminal is described that supports bidirectional communications among a constellation of low-Earth-orbit satellites. The concept uses AlGaAs semiconductor diode laser transmitters, a silicon charge-coupled device (CCD) acquisition array, and a silicon-avalanche-quadrant detector for fine tracking and 10-Mbps communications over a 5000-km range. The 13-lb laser terminal consumes 13 watts of peak spacecraft power. Order-of-magnitude data rate increases can be supported with little terminal impact by incorporating diode- laser master oscillator/power amplifier (MOPA) transmitter enhancements into the design.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 August 1994
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 2123, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies VI, (16 August 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.184647
Show Author Affiliations
Robert G. Marshalek, Ball Aerospace Systems Group (United States)
David L. Begley, Ball Aerospace Systems Group (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2123:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies VI
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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