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Proceedings Paper

High-data-rate optical downlink concept for LEO satellites
Author(s): Peter J. Wheel; Chris Langford; Mark C. Abrams
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Paper Abstract

For a number of years high speed space to ground data links have been a topic of interest. Improvements in mass storage devices, laser transmitters, EO modulators, and laser receivers have made implementation of a high speed optical down link physically and financially practical. This paper highlights a concept for a many gigabit per second optical data down link using a laser transmitter as the core of a down link device. The laser communication system is scalable using wavelength division multiplexing (WDM). Impact of probability of cloud free field of view (PCFFOV) is addressed on data storage needs. The trade space of the baseline concept between number of channels, data transmit size, number of ground stations, laser power, and climatology is presented. The resulting concept uses COTS equipment and consists of 16 channels multiplexed together producing an effective data transmit rate of 32 Gbps. This optical down link will transmit in 1 minute what an X-band transmitter needs more than 11/2 hours to down link.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 August 2001
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4395, Digital Wireless Communication III, (28 August 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.438288
Show Author Affiliations
Peter J. Wheel, ITT Industries, Inc. (United States)
Chris Langford, ITT Industries, Inc. (United States)
Mark C. Abrams, ITT Industries, Inc. (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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