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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Transceiver optics for interplanetary communications
Author(s): W. T. Roberts; W. H. Farr; B. Rider; D. Sampath

Paper Abstract

In-situ interplanetary science missions constantly push the spacecraft communications systems to support successively higher downlink rates. However, the highly restrictive mass and power constraints placed on interplanetary spacecraft significantly limit the desired bandwidth increases in going forward with current radio frequency (RF) technology. To overcome these limitations, we have evaluated the ability of free-space optical communications systems to make substantial gains in downlink bandwidth, while holding to the mass and power limits allocated to current state-of-the-art Ka-band communications systems.

A primary component of such an optical communications system is the optical assembly, comprised of the optical support structure, optical elements, baffles and outer enclosure. We wish to estimate the total mass that such an optical assembly might require, and assess what form it might take. Finally, to ground this generalized study, we should produce a conceptual design, and use that to verify its ability to achieve the required downlink gain, estimate it’s specific optical and opto-mechanical requirements, and evaluate the feasibility of producing the assembly.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 November 2017
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 10565, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2010, 105651G (20 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2309136
Show Author Affiliations
W. T. Roberts, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
W. H. Farr, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
B. Rider, L3-Com-SSG Precision Optronics (United States)
D. Sampath, L3-Com-SSG Precision Optronics (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10565:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2010
Errico Armandillo; Bruno Cugny; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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