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Proceedings Paper

Infrared communications for small spacecraft: from a wireless bus to cluster concepts
Author(s): Suzanne C. Walts; Wolfger Schneider; Margaret A. Garrison Darrin; Bradley G. Boone; Philip J. Luers
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Paper Abstract

Nanosatellites operating singly or in clusters are anticipated for future space science missions. To implement this new communications paradigm, we are approaching cluster communications by first developing an infrared (IR) intra- craft wireless bus capability, following initially the MIL- STD-1553B protocol. Benefits of an IR wireless bus are low mass, size, power, and cost, simplicity of implementation, ease of use, minimum EMI, and efficient and reliable data transfer. Our goals are to maximize the reliable link margin in order to afford greater flexibility in receiver placement, which will ease technology insertion. We have developed a concept demonstration using a high-speed visible-band silicon PIN photodiode and a high-efficiency visible LED operating at a data rate up to 4 Mb/sec. In designing an internal IR wireless bus, we have characterized various candidate materials, emitters, and geometries, assuming a single reflection. Thus, we have measured the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) for five different materials characteristic of typical spacecraft structures, which range from nearly Lambertian to highly specular. We have fit our data to empirical BRDF functions and modeled the detected irradiance anywhere in the plane of incidence for a divergent emitter. We have also determined the angular limits on the link geometry to remain within the required bit error rate by determining the received signal-to-noise ratio for minimum values of irradiance received at the detector.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 August 2001
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 4395, Digital Wireless Communication III, (28 August 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.438287
Show Author Affiliations
Suzanne C. Walts, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Wolfger Schneider, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Margaret A. Garrison Darrin, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Bradley G. Boone, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Philip J. Luers, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4395:
Digital Wireless Communication III
Raghuveer M. Rao; Soheil A. Dianat; Michael D. Zoltowski, Editor(s)

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