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Proceedings Paper

The use of integrated focal plane array technologies in laser microsatellite networks
Author(s): Shlomi Arnon
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Paper Abstract

Clustering micro satellites in cooperative fly formation constellations leads to high-performance space systems. The only way to achieve high-speed communication between the satellites is by a laser beam with a narrow divergence angle. In order to make the communication successful three types of focal plane detector arrays are required in the communication terminal: acquisition, tracking and communication detector arrays. The acquisition detector array is used to acquire the neighbor satellite using a wide field-of-view telescope. The tracking detector provides fast, real time and accurate direction location of the neighbor satellite. Based on the information from the acquisition and tracking detectors the receiver and transmitter maintain line of sight. The development of large, fast and very sensitive focal plane detector arrays makes it possible to implement the acquisition, tracking and communication with only one focal plane detector array. By doing so it is possible to reduce dramatically the size, weight, and cost of the optics and electronics which leads to lightweight communication terminals. As a result, the satellites are smaller and lighter, which reduces the space mission cost and increases the booster efficiency. In this paper we will present an overview of the concept of integrated focal plane arrays for laser satellite communication. We also present simulation results based on real system parameters and compare different implementation options.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 December 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5612, Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications, (6 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.579532
Show Author Affiliations
Shlomi Arnon, Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev (Israel)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5612:
Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications
Ronald G. Driggers; David A. Huckridge, Editor(s)

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