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Proceedings Paper

Optical terminals for microsatellite swarms
Author(s): Walter R. Leeb; Andras Kalmar; Klaus H. Kudielka; Peter J. Winzer
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Paper Abstract

We studied terminal architectures and configurations for optical cross-links within microsatellite swarms and assessed the applicability of available technologies. Typical applications for microsatellite swarms are phased array telescopes, interferometric missions, and space-based radar. Key drivers for an optical terminal are well-developed technology and ruggedness. The terminal should do without automatic tracking or fine pointing, coarse pointing should be simple. As an example we cover a scenario where four microsatellites form a planar, square formation of 1 km side length, where the data rate is 100 kbit/s, and where an active double-pass lidar between each of the satellites provides a ranging accuracy of better than 10 m. The terminal transmit power is some 160 mW at a wavelength of 980 nm, the receive apertures have a diameter of 5 mm, and the size, weight, and power requirement of one terminal is estimated to be 60X80X70 mm3, 900 g, and 5 W, respectively.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 April 2002
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 4635, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XIV, (26 April 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.464090
Show Author Affiliations
Walter R. Leeb, Technische Univ. Wien (Austria)
Andras Kalmar, Technische Univ. Wien (Austria)
Klaus H. Kudielka, Technische Univ. Wien (Switzerland)
Peter J. Winzer, Technische Univ. Wien (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4635:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XIV
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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