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The C3PO project: a laser communication system concept for small satellites
Author(s): Benoît d'Humières; Bruno Esmiller; Yann Gouy; Emilie Steck; Crisanto Quintana ; Graham Faulkner; Dominic O'Brien; Fabian Sproll; Paul Wagner; Daniel Hampf; Wolfgang Riede; Michael Salter; Qin Wang; Duncan Platt; Darius Jakonis; Xiaoyu Piao; Mikael Karlsson; Olof Oberg; Ingemar Petermann; Aneta Michalkiewicz; Jerzy Krezel; Anna Debowska; Yoann Thueux
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Paper Abstract

The satellite market is shifting towards smaller (micro and nanosatellites), lowered mass and increased performance platforms. Nanosatellites and picosatellites have been used for a number of new, innovative and unique payloads and missions. This trend requires new concepts for a reduced size, a better performance/weight ratio and a reduction of onboard power consumption. In this context, disruptive technologies, such as laser-optical communication systems, are opening new possibilities. This paper presents the C3PO1 system, “advanced Concept for laser uplink/ downlink CommuniCation with sPace Objects”, and the first results of the development of its key technologies. This project targets the design of a communications system that uses a ground-based laser to illuminate a satellite, and a Modulating Retro-Reflector (MRR) to return a beam of light modulated by data to the ground. This enables a downlink, without a laser source on the satellite. This architecture suits well to small satellite applications so as high data rates are potentially provided with very low board mass. C3PO project aims to achieve data rates of 1Gbit/s between LEO satellites and Earth with a communication payload mass of less than 1kilogram. In this paper, results of the initial experiments and demonstration of the key technologies will be shown.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 March 2017
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 10096, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXIX, 1009611 (7 March 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2254046
Show Author Affiliations
Benoît d'Humières, TEMATYS (France)
Bruno Esmiller, Airbus Safran Launchers SAS (France)
Yann Gouy, Airbus Safran Launchers SAS (France)
Emilie Steck, Airbus Safran Launchers SAS (France)
Crisanto Quintana , Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom)
Graham Faulkner, Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom)
Dominic O'Brien, Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom)
Fabian Sproll, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Paul Wagner, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Daniel Hampf, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Wolfgang Riede, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Michael Salter, Acreo Swedish ICT AB (Sweden)
Qin Wang, Acreo Swedish ICT AB (Sweden)
Duncan Platt, Acreo Swedish ICT AB (Sweden)
Darius Jakonis, Acreo Swedish ICT AB (Sweden)
Xiaoyu Piao, Acreo Swedish ICT AB (Sweden)
Mikael Karlsson, Acreo Swedish ICT AB (Sweden)
Olof Oberg, Acreo Swedish ICT AB (Sweden)
Ingemar Petermann, Acreo Swedish ICT AB (Sweden)
Aneta Michalkiewicz, Astri Polska Sp. z o.o. (Poland)
Jerzy Krezel, Astri Polska Sp. z o.o. (Poland)
Anna Debowska, Astri Polska Sp. z o.o. (Poland)
Yoann Thueux, Airbus Group Innovations (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10096:
Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXIX
Hamid Hemmati; Don M. Boroson, Editor(s)

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