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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Optical overview and qualification of the LLCD space terminal
Author(s): C. E. DeVoe; A. D. Pillsbury; F. Khatri; J. M. Burnside; A. C. Raudenbush; L. J. Petrilli; T. Williams

Paper Abstract

In October 2013 the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD) made communications history by successfully demonstrating 622 megabits per second laser communication from the moon’s orbit to earth. The LLCD consisted of the Lunar Laser Communication Space Terminal (LLST), developed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory, mounted on NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft and a primary ground terminal located in New Mexico, the Lunar Laser Communications Ground Terminal (LLGT), and two alternate ground terminals.

This paper presents the optical layout of the LLST, the approach for testing the optical subsystems, and the results of the optical qualification of the LLST. Also described is the optical test set used to qualify the LLST. The architecture philosophy for the optics was to keep a small, simple optical backend that provided excellent boresighting and high isolation between the optical paths, high quality wavefront on axis, with minimal throughput losses on all paths. The front end large optics consisted of a Cassegrain 107mm telescope with an f/0.7 parabolic primary mirror and a solar window to reduce the thermal load on the telescope and to minimize background light received at the sensors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 November 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10563, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014, 105630F (17 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2304194
Show Author Affiliations
C. E. DeVoe, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
A. D. Pillsbury, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
F. Khatri, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
J. M. Burnside, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
A. C. Raudenbush, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
L. J. Petrilli, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
T. Williams, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)

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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