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CubeSat lasercom optical terminals for near-Earth to deep space communications
Author(s): Brian Mathason; Michael M. Albert; Doruk Engin; He Cao; Keith G. Petrillo; Jacob Hwang; Khoa Le; Kent Puffenberger; Slava Litvinovitch; Mark Storm; Richard Utano
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Paper Abstract

We describe Fibertek’s progress toward commercializing space laser communications and new features of our secondgeneration compact laser communication terminal (LCT). The LCT design is modular, flexible and can accommodate a variety of waveforms and data formats. Fibertek has a unit deployed in space for initial testing followed by additional units for more broad-based market applications. Our first-generation optical telescope assembly was originally designed for NASA Deep Space CubeSat laser communications. It was customized as a complete commercial LEO LCT system which is 2U in size, 2 kg in mass, and provides Gbps data rates. The optical transceiver has a shared transmit/receive optical path that uses a laser beacon to ensure high pointing accuracy, active control of the pointing stability, and ensures a strong optical signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) during link operation. The terminal has been manufactured and tested, providing high accuracy pointing and low jitter. Our second generation LCT system features bidirectional operation and support for an eyesafe beacon for uplink applications. Bi-directional operation is attractive for inter-satellite links (ISL), uplinks of data, pointing acquisition and tracking (PAT), position, navigation and timing (PNT), and for telemetry, tracking, and command (TTandC). The eyesafe uplink beacon makes it easier to get FCC authorization for operation. The LCT includes a 64 mm telescope and a 1.5-μm fiber-amplifier with >2 W optical power that enables future updates to allow operation up to GEO orbit with the addition of SCPPM and 10-100 Gbit/sec.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 March 2019
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 10910, Free-Space Laser Communications XXXI, 1091005 (5 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2508047
Show Author Affiliations
Brian Mathason, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
Michael M. Albert, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
Doruk Engin, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
He Cao, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
Keith G. Petrillo, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
Jacob Hwang, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
Khoa Le, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
Kent Puffenberger, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
Slava Litvinovitch, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
Mark Storm, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
Richard Utano, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10910:
Free-Space Laser Communications XXXI
Hamid Hemmati; Don M. Boroson, Editor(s)

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