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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Fiber optical sensing on-board communication satellites
Author(s): A. Hurni; N. M. K. Lemke; M. Roner; J. Obermaier; P. Putzer; N. Kuhenuri Chami

Paper Abstract

Striving constantly to reduce mass, AIT effort and overall cost of the classical point-to-point wired temperature sensor harness on-board telecommunication satellites, OHB System (formerly Kayser-Threde) has introduced the Hybrid Sensor Bus (HSB) system. As a future spacecraft platform element, HSB relies on electrical remote sensor units as well as fiber-optical sensors, both of which can serially be connected in a bus architecture. HSB is a modular measurement system with many applications, also thanks to the opportunities posed by the digital I²C bus. The emphasis, however, is on the introduction of fiber optics and especially fiber-Bragg grating (FBG) temperature sensors as disruptive innovation for the company’s satellite platforms.

The light weight FBG sensors are directly inscribed in mechanically robust and radiation tolerant fibers, reducing the need for optical fiber connectors and splices to a minimum. Wherever an FBG sensor shall be used, the fiber is glued together with a corresponding temperature transducer to the satellites structure or to a subsystem. The transducer is necessary to provide decoupling of mechanical stress, but simultaneously ensure a high thermal conductivity.

HSB has been developed in the frame of an ESA-ARTES program with European and German co-funding and will be verified as flight demonstrator on-board the German Heinrich Hertz satellite (H2Sat). In this paper the Engineering Model development of HSB is presented and a Fiber-optical Sensor Multiplexer for a more flexible sensor bus architecture is introduced. The HSB system aims at telecommunication satellite platforms with an operational life time beyond 15 years in geostationary orbit. It claims a high compatibility in terms of performance and interfaces with existing platforms while it was designed with future applications with increased radiation exposure already in mind.

In its basic configuration HSB consists of four modules which are the Power Supply Unit, the HSB Controller Module, the Interrogator Controller Module and the Analog Front-End for the fiber-optical interrogation. The Interrogator Controller Module handles both, the electrical and fiber-optical sensor network. For the latter it is to be completed by the Analog Front-End. On this front-end, a tunable laser diode is implemented for the scanning of the FBG sensors. The reflected spectra are measured on multiple fiber channels and are then evaluated by use of a peak detection algorithm in order to obtain a precise temperature measurement. The precise operation of the photonic system on long terms can be guaranteed thanks to an inorbit calibration concept.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 November 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10563, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014, 105631B (17 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2304166
Show Author Affiliations
A. Hurni, OHB-System AG (Germany)
N. M. K. Lemke, OHB-System AG (Germany)
M. Roner, OHB-System AG (Germany)
J. Obermaier, OHB-System AG (Germany)
P. Putzer, Technische Univ. München (Germany)
N. Kuhenuri Chami, Technische Univ. München (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10563:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014
Zoran Sodnik; Bruno Cugny; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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