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Proceedings Paper

The lunar laser communication demonstration time-of-flight measurement system: overview, on-orbit performance, and ranging analysis
Author(s): M. L. Stevens; R. R. Parenti; M. M. Willis; J. A. Greco; F. I. Khatri; B. S. Robinson; D. M. Boroson
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Paper Abstract

The Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) flown on the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) satellite achieved record uplink and downlink communication data rates between a satellite orbiting the Moon and an Earth-based ground terminal. In addition, the high-speed signals of the communication system were used to accurately measure the round-trip time-of-flight (TOF) of signals sent to the Moon and back to the Earth. The measured TOF data, sampled at a 20-kS/s rate, and converted to distance, was processed to show a Gaussian white noise floor typically less than 1 cm RMS. This resulted in a precision for relative distance measurements more than two orders-of-magnitude finer than the RF-based navigation and ranging systems used during the LADEE mission. This paper presents an overview of the LLCD TOF system, a summary of the on-orbit measurements, and an analysis of the accuracy of the measured data for the mission.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 March 2016
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9739, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXVIII, 973908 (15 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2218624
Show Author Affiliations
M. L. Stevens, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
R. R. Parenti, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
M. M. Willis, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
J. A. Greco, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
F. I. Khatri, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
B. S. Robinson, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
D. M. Boroson, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9739:
Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXVIII
Hamid Hemmati; Don M. Boroson, Editor(s)

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