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Proceedings Paper

Spatial acquisition and tracking for deep-space optical communication packages
Author(s): Chien-Chung Chen; Muthu Jeganathan; James R. Lesh
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Paper Abstract

The problem of acquiring and tracking a sun-lit earth, which poses a rather stringent demand on the design of the pointing acquisition and tracking subsystem for a deep-space optical communication package, is addressed. The acquisition subsystem must be capable of locating and tracking the receiver location based on a sun-lit earth image that is blurred by the point spread function of the imaging optics and spatially quantized by the detector pixels. Spatial tracking must be performed at bandwidths in excess of 1 kHz to effectively reject platform jitters. A simple solution of locating the earth limb shows a great potential for providing the necessary acquisition and tracking accuracy. By using separate acquisition and tracking detectors, the system can be implemented without extensive technology development. The slow bandwidth required for the acquisition process can be readily accomplished with an available CCD array, and an analog tracking loop can be implemented using a quadrant tracker and calibrated centroid tracking without the excessive computing overhead of the array detector-based spatial tracker.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1991
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 1417, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies III, (1 June 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.43757
Show Author Affiliations
Chien-Chung Chen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Muthu Jeganathan, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
James R. Lesh, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1417:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies III
David L. Begley; Bernard D. Seery, Editor(s)

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