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Proceedings Paper

Functional demonstration of accelerometer-assisted beacon tracking
Author(s): Gerry G. Ortiz; Angel Portillo; Shinhak Lee; Juan M. Ceniceros
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Paper Abstract

NASA/JPL has been developing technologies to accurately point a laser beam from deep space with sub-micro-radian precision for data transmission systems. A novel approach to achieve this goal is based on using high bandwidth inertial sensors to compensate for jitter caused by spacecraft vibrations. The use of high bandwidth inertial sensors promises to enable the implementation of laser communication links anywhere within the solar system and beyond. A functional demonstration of closed-loop accelerometer- assisted beacon tracking under simulated spacecraft vibration was undertaken, in order to validate innovative concepts, technologies, sub-systems and algorithms that achieve the sub-micro-radian pointing accuracy necessary for optical communication systems from deep space. The laboratory demonstration included integration of the complete acquisition, tracking, and pointing system with inertial sensors (e.g. accelerometers). Double integration, bias and initial velocity estimation algorithms were developed, verified and implemented. Accelerometer performance was characterized and integrated to the system. A laser beacon was mounted on a platform that simulates spacecraft vibrations. Vibrations were introduced into the beacon and were simultaneously sampled by the accelerometer. These signals were used to close the pointing loop. Closed loop tracking of the vibrating beacon was achieved using the accelerometer information interlaced with a slow-rate reference update (laser beacon centroids). This presentation will describe the details of the functional demonstration of accelerometer-assisted beacon tracking and pointing in a laboratory environment under simulated spacecraft vibration.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 June 2001
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4272, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XIII, (20 June 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.430795
Show Author Affiliations
Gerry G. Ortiz, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Angel Portillo, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Shinhak Lee, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Juan M. Ceniceros, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4272:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XIII
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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