Share Email Print
cover

Proceedings Paper

Hybrid microtransmitter for free-space optical spacecraft communication: design, manufacturing, and characterization
Author(s): Sara Lotfi; Kristoffer Palmer; Henrik Kratz; Greger Thornell
Format Member Price Non-Member Price
PDF $14.40 $18.00
cover GOOD NEWS! Your organization subscribes to the SPIE Digital Library. You may be able to download this paper for free. Check Access

Paper Abstract

Optical intra-communication links are investigated by several currently operational qualification missions. Compared with RF communication systems, the optical domain obtains a wider bandwidth, enables miniaturized spacecraft and reduced power consumption. In this project, a microtransmitter is designed and manufactured for formation flying spacecraft with transmission rates of 1 Gbit/s. Simulations in Matlab and Simulink show that a BER of 10-9 can be achieved with aperture sizes of 1 cm and a transmitter output peak power of 12 mW for a distance of 10 km. The results show that the performance of the communication link decreases due to mechanical vibrations in the spacecraft together with a narrow laser beam. A dual-axis microactuator designed as a deflectable mirror has been developed for the laser beam steering where the fabrication is based on a double-sided, bulk micromachining process. The mirror actuates by joints consisting of v-grooves filled with SU-8 polymer. The deflection is controlled by integrated resistive heaters in the joints causing the polymer to expand thermally. Results show that the mirror actuates 20-30° in the temperature interval 25-250°C. Flat Fresnel lenses made of Pyrex 7740 are used to collimate the laser beam. These lenses are simulated in the Comsol software and optimized for a 670 nm red VCSEL. The lenses are manufactured using lithography and reactive ion etching. All tests are made in a normal laboratory environment, but the effect of the space environment is discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 February 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7208, MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems VIII, 72080N (23 February 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.809173
Show Author Affiliations
Sara Lotfi, Uppsala Univ. (Sweden)
Kristoffer Palmer, Uppsala Univ. (Sweden)
Henrik Kratz, Uppsala Univ. (Sweden)
Greger Thornell, Uppsala Univ. (Sweden)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7208:
MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems VIII
David L. Dickensheets; Harald Schenk; Wibool Piyawattanametha, Editor(s)

© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top