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This conference will provide a forum for all professionals involved in technologies related to free-space laser communications, and broadband optical communications. The conference will cover subjects related to the latest research and technology advances, and provide an overview useful to lasercom specialists, technology managers, and communication engineers. Papers are encouraged on ongoing laser communication programs, free-space laser communication system requirements, technology and subsystem advancements, and in-depth analysis of present status and future trends. Original papers are solicited on, but are not limited to, the following topics:

Free-space Laser Communication Technologies and Atmospheric Propagation ;
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Conference 11993

Free-Space Laser Communications XXXIV

In person: 25 - 26 January 2022
View Session ∨
  • Opening Remarks
  • 1: Subsystem and Component Technologies
  • 2: Receiver Technologies
  • 3: Transmitter Technologies I
  • 4: Transmitter Technologies II
  • 5: Flight Transceiver Technologies I
  • 6: Flight Transceiver Technologies II
  • 7: Ground Transceiver Technologies


  • Submissions are accepted through 06-December
  • Notification of acceptance by 20-December

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Opening Remarks
In person: 25 January 2022 • 8:00 AM - 8:05 AM
Hamid Hemmati, ViaSat, Inc. (United States) and Bryan S. Robinson, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Session 1: Subsystem and Component Technologies
Session Chair: Bryan S. Robinson, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Author(s): Ryan Miller, Joel Y. Gallegos, Austin Lee, Kevin Chow, Vi Tran, Mathew W. Bissonnette, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
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Current CubeSat Laser Communications relies on spacecraft body pointing with thrusters or reaction wheels, resulting in mediocre laser beam pointing accuracy. To increase the laser beam pointing accuracy, active acquisition and tracking of the beam from the counter terminal should be performed. Conventional FSMs (fast steering mirrors) and FPAs (focal plane arrays) are too large to be incorporated into CubeSats, which are inherently constrained by low SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power) limits. In this paper, we present a patent pending method and reference design that implements both acquisition and tracking functions using a MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System) FSM and quad detector.
Author(s): Paul A. Searcy, Barry A. Matsumori, BridgeComm, Inc. (United States)
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BridgeComm has worked to advance the capabilities of the Managed Optical Communications Array (MOCA) technology for application to a broad set of use cases and environments. This advancement includes raising technology readiness level to TRL 6 and above and tailoring developments for a specific set of applications. The key elements in the design of the optical terminal will be discussed. The ability to steer the beam through a wide field of regards without the use of mechanical gimbals has been demonstrated and will be presented. That design enables the ability to move the optical beam between multiple elements quickly using time division multiple access (TDMA) techniques and support a multitude of end users with a high data rate dynamically reconfigurable communications network. Analysis of a specific application environment will be reviewed, and data presented.
Author(s): Ruzan Sokhoyan, Meir Y. Grajower, Jared F. Sisler, Komron J. Shayegan, Prachi Thureja, Harry A. Atwater, Caltech (United States)
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Chip-scale beam steering units, which would replace currently used mechanical gimbals, could revolutionize the field of free space optical communications. We review chip-scale technologies, which enable electronic beam reconfigurations and steering without mechanically moving parts. We assess the feasibility of using different electrically steerable apertures such as active metasurfaces and optical phased arrays for laser communications. Our optical link budget analysis shows that, for metasurface apertures of 1 cm in diameter and input powers of 5 W, the free space link range can approach ~ 10,000 km. We also provide an outlook how the link range can be increased further.
Author(s): Antonin Billaud, Adeline Orieux, Fausto Gomez Agis, Kassem Saab, CAILabs (France); Stephane Bernard, Cailabs (France); Thibault Michel, David Allioux, Olivier Pinel, Guillaume Labroille, CAILabs (France)
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We demonstrate turbulence mitigation in a free-space optical link without adaptive optics. A module consisting of an 8-mode Multi-Plane Light Conversion (MPLC) device connected to a photonic integrated chip (PIC) collects a perturbed beam and converts it into a fundamental mode propagating in a standard single-mode fiber (SMF). Module is tested on a 200-meter optical link at 1550 nm under different D/r0 conditions. Results are compared to simulations and laboratory experiments using calibrated turbulent phase plates. We show increased coupling efficiency and lower fading compared to SMF coupling, demonstrating that MPLC and PIC are a viable turbulence mitigation option.
Author(s): Antonin Billaud, Fausto Gomez Agis, Kassem Saab, Matthieu Meunier, David Allioux, Olivier Pinel, Guillaume Labroille, CAILabs (France)
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We demonstrate coherent on-chip combining for atmospheric turbulence mitigation using Multi-Plane Light Conversion (MPLC). A Niobate Lithium (LiNbO3) photonic integrated chip (PIC) was manufactured to optically combine via balancing and rephasing of 8 disturbed signals collected and demultiplexed by an MPLC. Cascaded on-chip Mach-Zehnders interferometers containing controllable phase shifters allow combining of optical inputs two at a time. Optical leaks are used as feedback loops. After 3 stages, all signals are coherently combined into a main output. We present efficiency, bandwidth, and compatibility with telecom operation of the PIC recombination.
Author(s): Kathleen Riesing, Curt M. Schieler, Jesse Chang, Jay Petrilli, Noah Gilbert, Andrew Horvath, Robert Reeve, Josh Brown, Joe Scozzafava, Jade P. Wang, Bryan Robinson, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
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The Terabyte Infrared Delivery (TBIRD) program will establish a communication link from a nanosatellite in low-Earth orbit to ground station at burst rates up to 200 Gbps. An overview of the pointing, acquisition, and tracking system for TBIRD is provided as well as initial results from pre-flight testing.
Session 2: Receiver Technologies
Session Chair: Linda M. Thomas, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Author(s): Vincent Billault, Jérôme Bourderionnet, Luc Leviandier, Patrick Feneyrou, Thales Research & Technology (France); Anaëlle Maho, Michel Sotom, Thales Alenia Space (France); Xavier Normandin, Herve Lonjaret, Thales LAS France SAS (France); Arnaud Brignon, Thales Research & Technology (France)
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Mitigation of atmospheric perturbations is a major challenge in optical wireless communications. We propose and prove the concept of a robust free space optical communication receiver based on an optical spatial mode demultiplexer and a silicon photonic coherent combining circuit. The receiver collects the light from several spatial modes with a multiplane light converter and coherently combine the energy from the different modes with an on chip, self-configuring, interferometer binary tree circuit. This solution offers a higher collection efficiency than standard free space optical receiver and shows a strong robustness to phase and intensity perturbation.
Author(s): Juraj Poliak, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany); Davide Blandino, Marisa Albertini, Optec S.p.A. (Italy); Matthias Beier, Marcel Hornaff, SPACEOPTIX GmbH (Germany); Ramon Mata Calvo, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany); Zoran Sodnik, European Space Agency (Netherlands), European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands); Andrew Jones, European Space Agency (United Kingdom), European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)
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Current satellite optical communications systems, e.g. EDRS, include a single optical terminal for point-to-point links. In case of a hand-over to a next available location, the optical terminal must actively repoint and reacquire the signal. We investigate a novel satellite telescope design covering multiple optical ground stations within its field-of-view. Additionally, orbital perturbations, mainly the ones due to inclination, distort the received optical field over the period of one day and must be compensated for each link individually. We present preliminary design of the space telescope and focal-plane-array and plan of the following breadboarding activity.
Author(s): Sarah A. Tedder, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States); Bertram M. Floyd, Hx5 Sierra, Inc. (United States); Brian E. Vyhnalek, Yousef K. Chahine, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
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A key challenge of photon counting optical communication is delivering atmospherically distorted light from the telescope to detectors efficiently. To increase the amount of light that is delivered to the detectors, NASA Glenn Research Center is considering many different fiber/detector architectures. This paper will compare insertion loss of the fiber device, measured under emulated atmospheric conditions, of two different architectures: one using a multiplane light conversion device and one using 30-micron multimode fiber. Discussion will include the impact of the insertion loss to the system and a comparison of the qualitative features of the two receiver architecture designs.
Author(s): Paul D. Shubert, Joshua Kern, Pablo Reyes, A-Tech, LLC, a BlueHalo Co. (United States)
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Transmit and receive paths in the optical C-band must be combined/split with close to 100% efficiency, while their wavelengths are separated by only a few 10s of nanometers. Free-space optical circulators using Magnetless Faraday Rotators (MFR) have been proposed for use in optical communications. We fabricate and test a free-space optical circulator designed for space applications, capable of surviving launch and operating in the expected temperature environment. We show that this system provides excellent performance over the C-band, allowing optical terminals to operate with arbitrary wavelengths and polarizations, constrained only by the capabilities of the optical modem.
Author(s): Christopher Foy, Jeffrey Minch, Derrick Feld, Rebecca Bourque, Daniel J. Weidman, Margaret Boning, Timothy M. Yarnall, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
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The development of space-based, free-space optical (FSO) communication systems is exciting for expanding internet connectivity worldwide. Key to the performance of these communication systems are flexible architectures that support higher rates via complex modulation formats. However, prior efforts have designed custom modems optimized for each link - limiting their flexibility. An alternative is to leverage advances developed by the fiber telecom industry which offer high-rate digital coherent communication systems while minimizing size, weight, and power (SWAP). These low SWAP systems rely on commercially available microfabricated integrated coherent receivers (μICR). In this presentation, we present data to help qualify a μICR for a space application through a series of environmental tests. This work thus expands the reach of coherent systems, allowing for the development of low-SWAP space-based FSO communication systems buttressed with commercially available μICRs.
Session 3: Transmitter Technologies I
Session Chair: Julie Smith, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Author(s): Jeffrey M. Roth, Stephen Rauch, Brett Reynolds, Curt M. Schieler, Todd G. Ulmer, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
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We investigate interleaver fade mitigation in the regime where the interleaver is not effectively infinite. Defining L as the ratio of interleaver delay to channel coherence time, our goals are 1) to determine the break point value of L where the interleaver is no longer effectively infinite, and 2) to characterize the power penalty for a finite interleaver to understand how performance degrades as we reduce L. Using a fiber-based modem and fade emulator, we investigate cases representing both weak and strong turbulence (scintillation indices of 0.2 and 1.0, respectively).
Author(s): Aubin Donnot, G&H Group (United Kingdom); James Edmunds, Gooch & Housego Systems Technology Group (United Kingdom); Niall Hammond, Matthew Welch, Peter Kean, Efstratios Kehayas, Gooch & Housego (Torquay) Ltd. (United Kingdom); Ronald Hagen, Henk Medenblik, Lun Cheng, Gabriele Bulgarini, Martijn Dresscher, TNO (Netherlands)
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High Photon Efficiency (HPE) sources are a key technology for enabling interplanetary laser communication. In this paper, we present the development of an HPE source capable of Pulse Position Modulation (PPM) order of 256 with an average power of 4W in the C-band. This laser source integrates into a breadboard demonstrator of a HPE transmitter at TNO to demonstrate the combined modem and laser performance.
Author(s): Paul Steinvurzel, Wei W. Chang, Todd S. Rose, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
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Several organizations are engaged in the development of deployable optical communication systems for intersatellite and satellite to ground communications supporting commercial and non-commercial objectives. The debate whether to use 1064 or 1550 nm continues, although the prevailing view leans toward the latter because of its connection with commercial telecom. Solutions at 1064 nm, however, enable greater efficiency, which is more appealing for small SWaP constrained systems. To promote an increased interoperability potential, we have explored amplification at both wavelengths using an ErYb-only fiber amplifier and a hybrid Yb/ErYb segmented fiber amplifier configuration. These configurations allow the user to select either wavelength without implementing two independent amplification systems. The work presented here will discuss the difficulties encountered with the former approach, modeling efforts, and recent results with the segmented solution
Author(s): Jennifer N. Downey, Mary Jo W. Shalkhauser, Thomas P. Bizon, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
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Convolutional interleavers are used in many different communications systems to correct for burst errors due to atmospheric fades and scintillation. The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) Optical Communications High Photon Efficiency (HPE) standard utilizes a convolutional channel symbol interleaver. A previous implementation of the HPE standard utilized block ram (BRAM) for the convolutional interleaver, but mission requirements for the upcoming Optical Artemis-2 Orion (O2O) Communications demonstration dictate the use of an interleaver exceeding the size of the BRAM. An algorithm and method for implementing the convolutional interleaver in the FPGA with DDR memory is described in this paper.
Author(s): Matthew Welch, G&H Group (United Kingdom); Aubin Donnot, Gooch & Housego (Torquay) Ltd. (United Kingdom); James Edmunds, Marios Kechagias, Gooch & Housego Systems Technology Group (United Kingdom); Elliott Prowse, Gooch & Housego (Torquay) Ltd. (United Kingdom); Karen Hall, G&H Group (United Kingdom); Peter Kean, Stratos Kehayas, Gooch & Housego (Torquay) Ltd. (United Kingdom)
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High power optical fibre amplifiers are a key sub-systems for enabling ground to space laser communication. In this paper we present the development and testing of a 50W optical fibre amplifier in C-band as well as an high power spectral beam combiner for optical ground station optimised for high channel density, power and count.
Author(s): Doruk Engin, Ted Wysocki, Patrick Olmstead, Jacob Hwang, David Pachowicz, Mark Storm, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
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Fibertek is developing a power efficient, space qualifiable Eight WDM Channel PPM Downlink Tx Front-End with TDM based FWM Mitigation Capability. The Front-End will be compatible with the space qualifiable, high TRL 8 WDM channel 50W WDM Amplifier prototype that was delivered in early 2021. Fibertek has developed a comprehensive multi gain stage 1.5um WDM fiber amplifier model that simulates the degradation of WDM PPM signals due to FWM. Comparisons of the simulation to the High power WDM PPM experiments will be presented. Using the model system level requirements for the WDM PPM Front-end will be derived and presented.
Author(s): Sven Hochheim, Alexander Büttner, Peter Wessels, Jörg Neumann, Dietmar Kracht, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (Germany)
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An important aspect of optical satellite communication technology is the power consumption of the laser systems. Therefore, an enhanced wall-plug efficiency of the optical amplifier is needed. We present an optical amplifier for a WDM optical communication system with an enhanced wall-plug efficiency. The desired efficiency of more than 30% can only be achieved through fiber technology. Combining the experiences of in-house manufactured optical fiber components and of laser developments for space applications, an all-fiber amplifier solution was designed. Each of the 10 channels can be efficiently amplified up to a total power level of 100W in the 1µm wavelength-range.
Session 4: Transmitter Technologies II
Session Chair: Zoran Sodnik, European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)
Author(s): Leontios Stampoulidis, Ahmed Osman, I. Sourikopoulos, LEO Space Photonics (Greece); Georg Winzer, Lars Zimmermann, IHP GmbH (Germany); Anaëlle Maho, Mickaël Faugeron, Michel Sotom, Thales Alenia Space (France); Federico Caccavale, Thales Alenia Space Switzerland (Switzerland); Aina Serrano Rodrigo, INPHOTEC, Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna (Italy); Marco Chiesa, Davide Rotta, INPHOTEC (Italy); James Edmunds, Gooch & Housego Systems Technology Group (United Kingdom); Matthew Welch, G&H Group (United Kingdom); Stratos Kehayas, Gooch & Housego (Torquay) Ltd. (United Kingdom); William Dorward, ALTER TECHNOLOGY TÜV NORD UK Ltd. (United Kingdom); Francois Duport, III-V Lab. (France); Antonio Sancho, David Mesquita, LusoSpace, Lda (Portugal)
Author(s): Greg Nau, Rajesh Kadel, David Pachowicz, Doruk Engin, Juan Lander, Slava Litvinovitch, Selma Tint, Mark Long, Dave Moll, Mark Storm, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
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Fibertek has developed a ground based high-power optical communication uplink laser to support NASA JPL’s Deep Space Optical Communication (DSOC) program. The uplink laser assembly (ULA) provides a beacon and binary PPM modulation signaling to the DSOC spacecraft terminal. This paper describes the ULA design, development and performance verification testing. The laser was delivered and installed in NASA JPL’s Optical Communications Telescope Laboratory (OCTL) optical ground station facility. NASA JPL is providing DSOC to the NASA Psyche asteroid mission in 2022 to demonstrate deep space laser communications.
Author(s): Mihaela Dinu, Robert G. Ahrens, Timothy A. Sochor, James M. Dailey, Richard A. Prego, Michael J. Berry, Lucas T. Crandall, John O. Kolchmeyer, Anthony Monte, Jon W. Engelberth, Thomas C. Caltabellotta, Jane D. Le Grange, Nicole C. Wendt, CACI International Inc. (United States); Malcolm W. Wright, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States), Caltech (United States); James J. Jaques, CACI International Inc. (United States)
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We review the design, performance, and qualification of a high-power Laser Transmitter Assembly (LTA) developed to support NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications demonstration on the Psyche Mission. The LTA delivers up to 4.5 W at 1550 nm by use of a highly-efficient, cladding-pumped, polarization-maintaining fiber amplifier. The master oscillator supports modulation formats from 16- to 128-PPM for optical data transmission at >100 Mbps. We describe the environmental and performance testing of the LTA Engineering and Flight Models, including key metrics such as wavelength stability, signal linewidth, optical pulse width, pulse jitter, pulse extinction ratio, and polarization extinction ratio.
Author(s): James M. Dailey, Timothy Koch, Anthony Monte, Nicole C. Wendt, Gregory Szczepanik, Andrew Stenard, Lucas T. Crandall, Thomas Wood, CACI International Inc. (United States)
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We report on the high-power broadband optical modem supporting NASA’s crewed Artemis-2 mission. The O2O modem will be mounted in the crewed Orion module and provide a broadband bi-directional 505,000 km optical link back to earth while en route to the moon. The full-duplex modem consists of an optical transmitter and receiver optimized for pulse-position modulation. The transmitter outputs up to 1 W and supports bitrates up to 260.95 Mb/s. The optical receiver supports bitrates up to 20.39 Mb/s. The modem has passed environmental testing and has been declared at TRL 6.
Author(s): Olivier Liandrat, Guillaume Roussel, Reuniwatt (France); Andres Bedoya-Velasquez, Romain Ceolato, ONERA (France); Antoine Cautru, Reuniwatt (France); Jacques Decroix, IRT Saint Exupéry (France); Nicolas Schmutz, Reuniwatt (France)
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Free space optical communication in the atmosphere requires Cloud Optical Depth (COD) measurement to monitor and avoid cloud blockage. COD can be derived from ground based thermal infrared sky observations. However, the thermal signature of a cloud depends both on its COD and its Cloud Base Height (CBH). Thus, using CBH measurement from a ceilometer is recommended to improve the accuracy of the COD retrieval. In this study, we evaluate an alternative approach based on a pair of thermal sky imager and stereoscopy. Good agreement on the CBH retrievals has been observed over the course of several days.
Author(s): William S. Rabinovich, Rita Mahon, Mike S. Ferraro, Christopher I. Moore, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States); Andrew Coffee, Jacobs (United States)
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Optical propagation in a marine environment is important to understand for many applications. For over ten years, the United States Naval Research Laboratory has maintained a 16 km free space optical link across the Chesapeake Bay at our Lasercom Test Facility. Fundamental models like the Naval Postgraduate School’s NAVSLaM are used to predict turbulence parameters based on weather measurements. Wave optics simulation, using these parameters, is then used to predict scintillation. These predictions are then compared to measurements. ave optics simulation requires an underlying model of the spectrum of turbulence. A variety of turbulence spectra have been proposed, including the Kolomogorov, Von Karman, Hill and Marine spectra. In this talk we compare wave optics simulation, using these spectra, to experimental measurements.
Session 5: Flight Transceiver Technologies I
Session Chair: Hamid Hemmati, ViaSat, Inc. (United States)
Author(s): Josep Maria Perdigués Armengol, Harald Hauschildt, Carlo Elia, Wael El-Dali, Silvia Mezzasoma, Christopher Vasko, Monica Politano, Zoran Sodnik, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
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HydRON (High thRoughput Optical Network) ambition is to extend terrestrial high capacity networks into space, seamlessly and by interconnecting all kind of space assets. The concept of “Internet backbone beyond the clouds” will take advantage of space elements to complement terrestrial high capacity networks, ultimately enabling the configuration of a worldwide and world-first 3-dimensional optical network interconnecting different (orbital) layers in GEO, MEO, LEO, HAPS and terrestrial. The European Space Agency (ESA) approved the validation of the key technologies, main concepts and the end-to-end system functionalities by means of the HydRON Demonstration System, aiming at a launch in 2025. The current status of the technical and programmatic aspects of the HydRON Demonstration System will be summarised in this paper.
Author(s): Noelia Martínez Rey, The Australian National Univ. (Australia); Luis Fernando Rodríguez-Ramos, Iciar Montilla Garcia, Carlos Magrasó Santa, Marcos Reyes García-Talavera, Alejandro Oscoz Abad, Jorge Socas Negrín, Ángel Alonso-Sánchez, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
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Superconducting nanowire detectors fed by single mode fibres are essential to minimize dark counts in a quantum communication receiver. Efficient coupling of the received light to the single mode fibre is fundamental for the system performance, but it gets deeply affected by the atmospheric turbulence. Adaptive Optics measure and correct for the atmosphere effect on the light optimising the fibre coupling. An Adaptive Optics system is proposed to be installed at the ground station that will receive quantum key distribution from a geostationary satellite. Numerical simulations have been performed for this scenario; the improvement in the fibre coupling have been assessed with and without atmospheric turbulence correction. The present paper encapsulates the simulation framework and main findings, showing the potential for this technology in the quantum communications niche.
Author(s): Frank F. Heine, Patricia Martin Pimentel, Christoph Rochow, David Hasler, Herwig Zech, Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
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This paper details the progress in the laser communication activities of Tesat-Spacecom. The EDRS program, the European Data Relay System, a private public partnership program between the European Space Agency ESA and Airbus Defence and Space ADS, is running flawlessly, until now (Early August) 55000 data relay links were executed. We report on the performance of the systems in space and detail on other activities of Tesat. Especially the delivery of the first optimized LCTs for Leo data relay, the Smart LCTs are delivered to the space crafts. Furthermore, the delivery of Cubesat LCTs have to be mentioned, and the development, qualification and delivery of the ConLCTs for the SDA Tranche 0 program.
Author(s): Paul D. Shubert, A-Tech, LLC, a BlueHalo Co. (United States)
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Terabit-per-second (Tbps) geostationary (GEO) optical feeder links pose significant development challenges. Constellations in low Earth orbit (LEO) can support Tbps feeder links using current free-space optical capabilities but have short contact periods with ground stations and limited site availability. The system design of a Tbps LEO relay network using feeder links from LEO to satellites in GEO or medium Earth orbit (MEO) orbits to transfer data to ground stations is explored. Terminal requirements are developed and traded with the number of LEO feeder satellites and GEO/MEO terminals. System simulations of meshed LEO constellations using GEO/MEO relays to ground feeder links are performed.
Author(s): Keith G. Petrillo, Jacob Hwang, Michael M. Albert, He Cao, Kent Puffenburger, William J. Rudd, Bruce McIntosh, Mark Storm, Brian Mathason, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
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This work highlights 10G uncoded OOK communications signals in a lab-based over-the-air demonstration through one of Fibertek’s terminals designed for 1G LEO direct to earth links. Our demonstration not only proved that the 1G terminals are capable of higher data rates without penalty but also validated the pointing stability of the system. The bit error rate tests resulted in a less than 3-dB power penalty compared to back-to-back measurements at 1e-9 which is in line with a theoretical half-angle divergence-to-jitter ratio (w0/σ) of around 7. This ratio meets the design goals for the terminal.
Author(s): Hugh Podmore, Danya Hudson, Alan Scott, Thomas Ducellier, Alexander Beaton, Ashley McColgan, Brian MacKay, Barrett Taylor, Honeywell Aerospace (Canada)
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Honeywell has leveraged decades of experience in reliable space optics and mass production of space hardware to develop a low-cost optical communication terminal designed for manufacturability. Key concepts to minimize production costs are modularity of the and an automated minimal-alignment approach. The modular design allows for a multi-supplier approach that enables optimization for individual product throughput while also parallelizing production. Modularity also allows for easy adaptation to design changes, which means that one-off and bespoke terminals can accommodate mission-specific modifications (e.g. polarization-maintenance for quantum key distribution) while also benefitting from the volume production design. This approach has allowed Honeywell to drastically reduce assembly time for telescopes and other optics in order to produce multiple units per day. This paper provides an overview of the Honeywell OISL terminal performance results and describes the design in detail.
Session 6: Flight Transceiver Technologies II
Session Chair: Don M. Boroson, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Author(s): Ryan Kingsbury, Jon Twichell, Blue Cubed (United States); Scott Palo, Blue Cubed (United States), Univ. of Colorado Boulder (United States)
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Blue Cubed has developed Cobalt, a gigabit-per-second class optical crosslink terminal that has been engineered to minimize cost and be easily mass produced. These benefits are realized through the design’s novel, patent pending self-alignment technique. This approach greatly relaxes manufacturing tolerances and makes the bench exceptionally robust to environmental loading. This talk describes the status of terminal development, lessons learned in design validation, and the path towards an on-orbit demonstration.
Author(s): Greg Kuperman, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (United States)
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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing a space-based communication node with the goal to create a reconfigurable, multi-protocol intersatellite optical communications terminal that is low size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C), easy to integrate, and will have the ability to connect heterogeneous constellations that operate on different optical intersatellite link (OISL) specifications that otherwise would not be able to communicate.
Author(s): Linda M. Thomas, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Author(s): Curt M. Schieler, Kathleen Riesing, Andrew Horvath, Bryan Bilyeu, Jesse Chang, Ajay Garg, Jade P. Wang, Bryan Robinson, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
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The Terabyte Infrared Delivery (TBIRD) program will establish an optical communication link from a nanosatellite in low-Earth orbit to a ground station at burst rates up to 200 Gbps. An overview of the communication architecture for TBIRD is provided as well as results from pre-flight performance and environmental testing of the 3U lasercom payload.
Session 7: Ground Transceiver Technologies
Session Chair: Donald M. Cornwell,, Inc. (United States)
Author(s): Dimitar R. Kolev, Koichi Shiratama, Alberto Carrasco-Casado, Yoshihiko Saito, Yasushi Munemasa, Junichi Nakazono, Phuc V. Trinh, Hideaki Kotake, Hiroo Kunimori, Toshihiro Kubooka, Tetsuharu Fuse, Morio Toyoshima, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
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NICT is developing the HICALI (High Speed Communication with Advanced Laser Instrument) payload and an optical ground station to demonstrate 10 Gbps-class optical satellite communication between geostationary orbit and the ground. The HICALI payload is planned to be mounted on the Engineering Test Satellite-9 (ETS-9) which will be launched in 2023. In this paper, we present the status of the HICALI payload and optical ground station development and discuss the initial experiment results.
Author(s): Michael K. Cheng, Emily Dunkel, Seán Meenehan, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
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We develop classifiers based on machine learning and neural networks to perform automatic aircraft detection on camera data to assist with uplink laser safety for deep space optical communications. Our classifiers can achieve a low false positive rate (FPR) for a true positive rate (TPR) of 100% and do so with a short response time. The FPR will be kept sufficiently low to avoid unnecessary shuttering events and interruptions of the communications link. Our approach can be used to complement transponder-based aircraft detection systems to ensure the safety of unpowered aircrafts and aircrafts at low altitudes.
Author(s): Noelia Martínez Rey, The Australian National Univ. (Australia); Luis Fernando Rodriguez Ramos, Iciar Montilla Garcia, Marcos Reyes García-Talavera, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain); Jorge Socas Negrín, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (Spain); Alejandro Oscoz Abad, Ángel Alonso-Sánchez, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
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A plenoptic wavefront sensor is proposed for the measurement of the atmospheric turbulence on satellite-to-ground optical communications. The design will be based on the outcome of the performance simulations for the specific site Teide Observatory (Spain). The performance of the plenoptic wavefront sensor is compared to a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor operating under the same conditions. Scenarios with high signal-to-noise ration are considered with a main focus on communications with Low Earth Orbit satellites and with Geostationary satellites. Special attention is paid to the difference in performance between both wavefront sensors when affected by scintillation. The model is defined for space-to-ground laser communications at 532nm, 1064nm, and 1550nm assuming several apertures for the receiver telescope. This paper presents the numerical simulations and main findings regarding phase retrieval and the wavefront sensor behaviour in weak and strong atmospheric turbulence regimes.
Author(s): Yousef K. Chahine, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States); Ferrill Rushton, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States); Sarah A. Tedder, Brian E. Vyhnalek, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
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A fundamental requirement of free-space optical communication is the ability to efficiently couple atmospherically distorted light from a telescope to a detector. A numerical method is presented for characterizing fiber-based receiver performance in atmospheric conditions based on phase space optics which does not rely on Monte Carlo methods. Optimal sampling constraints are derived for calculating the Wigner distribution function of the atmospherically distorted light and fiber modes. This method is employed to analyze waveguide insertion loss in atmospheric conditions for various waveguide geometries including a comparison of step-index fibers, graded-index fibers, and photonic lanterns with and without tilt compensation.
Author(s): Luis Fernando Rodríguez-Ramos, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain); Noelia Martínez Rey, The Australian National Univ. (Australia); Jorge Socas Negrín, Carlos Magrasó Santa, Iciar Montilla, Marcos Reyes, Angel Alonso, Alex Oscoz Abad, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
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Power coupling to SMF is vital when using a SNSPD because they are normally used as the light input to the cryostat, in order to minimize dark counts. When the communication optical link is expected to suffer atmospheric turbulence during its free-space path, being able to compensate them could improve the coupling efficiency by a factor between 2 and 10. Laboratory tests showing this improvement in practice will be reported. The design of a Multi-function Optical Ground Station, capable of receiving a quantum key from a satellite and also capable of exchanging them with another station will be outlined as well
Author(s): Antonio Vanzo, CNR-Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie (Italy); Francesco Vedovato, Alessia Scriminich, Tommaso Furieri, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy); Francesco Mazzocco, Jacopo Mocci, Dynamic Optics S.r.l. (Italy); Francesco Picciariello, Giuseppe Vallone, Paolo Villoresi, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy); Stefano Bonora, CNR-Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie (Italy)
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Free-space optical communication between ground and satellites require the use of medium/large size telescopes. Unfortunately, when the transmitted beam passes through the atmosphere the wavefront is distorted by the time variant inhomogeneity of the refractive index, causing aberrations and scintillation at the receiver. With a telescope of 40cm aperture the correction of high order aberrations is necessary to sufficiently improve the efficiency of the fiber optic coupling. We present the development of an adaptive optic system with a 40cm telescope for SWIR optical communication link (λ=1550nm), composed by a Deformable Mirror (DM) and a Shack-Hartmann sensor for wavefront measurement.
Author(s): Dimitris Syvridis, Nikolaos Raptis, Konstantinos Krillakis, National and Kapodistrian Univ. of Athens (Greece); Konstantinos Panoliaskos, LINK SA (Greece); Eugenia Roditi, National and Kapodistrian Univ. of Athens (Greece)
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Non-Line-of-Sight optical communication systems have attracted a lot of interest the last few years due to their obvious advantages such as no requirements for optical beam tracking, existence of obstacles between transmitter and receiver. In this paper, we report on the implementation and performance characteristics of a fully operational peer to peer network consisting of autonomous, properly designed nodes interconnected through scattered UVC light. Properly arranged groups of UVC LED emitters and photomultiplier receivers have been used in each terminal while pulse position modulation have been implemented at the physical layer. In the link layer, the rules for communication and collisions avoidance between nodes are also set.
Conference Chair
ViaSat, Inc. (United States)
Conference Chair
MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Program Committee
Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Program Committee
MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Program Committee
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Program Committee, Inc. (United States)
Program Committee
X Development LLC (United States)
Program Committee
Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
Program Committee
U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Program Committee
Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Program Committee
European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)
Program Committee
U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Program Committee
National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
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