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Proceedings Paper

Experimental Verification Of The Pointing Error Distribution Of An Optical Intersatellite Link
Author(s): R. D. Nelson; T. H. Ebben; R. G. Marshalek
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Paper Abstract

Free space laser intersatellite links (ISL) require terminal pointing, acquisition, and tracking (PAT) subsystems that are capa-ble of high-speed, high-accuracy pointing control for acquisition and tracking to support communications operations. Typical links will require 16- to 30-cm telescope apertures, which translate to communication beam divergences of approximately 13 to 7 μrad, respectively, assuming a GaAlAs laser system operating at 0.85 um. Based on analyses of the effects of beam jitter on bit error rate (BER), communication beams with pointing accuracies of approximately 0.6 and 0.3 μrad (1o), respectively, are required to provide for reliable ISL communication with burst error rates of -10 -6. Ball Aerospace Systems Division (BASD) has designed, developed, and tested a PAT subsystem with these capabilities that uses current technology. This paper describes the tracking control system, the track detectors, and the key subsystem component: a two-axis, reactionless fine-steering mirror (FSM). Also shown are experimental results of the pointing error distribution of the tracking subsystem, both with and without an injected typical satellite disturbance spectrum. Test results agree very well with computer models.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 May 1988
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 0885, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies, (2 May 1988); doi: 10.1117/12.976558
Show Author Affiliations
R. D. Nelson, Ball Aerospace Systems Division (United States)
T. H. Ebben, Ball Aerospace Systems Division (United States)
R. G. Marshalek, Ball Aerospace Systems Division (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0885:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies
David L. Begley; Gerhard A. Koepf, Editor(s)

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