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Proceedings Paper

TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD): a demonstration of large-volume direct-to-Earth data transfer from low-Earth orbit
Author(s): B. S. Robinson; D. M. Boroson; C. M. Schieler; F. I. Khatri; O. Guldner; S. Constantine; T. Shih; J. W. Burnside; B. C. Bilyeu; F. Hakimi; A. Garg; G. Allen; E. Clements; D. M. Cornwell
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Paper Abstract

Delivery of large volumes of data from low-Earth orbit to ground is challenging due to the short link durations associated with direct-to-Earth links. The short ranges that are typical for such links enable high data rates with small terminals. While the data rate for radio-frequency links is typically limited by available spectrum, optical links do not have such limitations. However, to date, demonstrations of optical links from low-Earth orbit to ground have been limited to ~10 to ~1000 Mbps. We describe plans for NASA’s TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD) system, which will demonstrate a direct-to-Earth optical communication link from a CubeSat in low-Earth orbit at burst rates up to 200 Gbps. Such a link is capable of delivering >50 Terabytes per day from a small spacecraft to a single small ground terminal.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 February 2018
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 10524, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXX, 105240V (15 February 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2295023
Show Author Affiliations
B. S. Robinson, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
D. M. Boroson, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
C. M. Schieler, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
F. I. Khatri, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
O. Guldner, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
S. Constantine, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
T. Shih, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
J. W. Burnside, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
B. C. Bilyeu, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
F. Hakimi, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
A. Garg, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
G. Allen, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
E. Clements, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
D. M. Cornwell, NASA (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10524:
Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXX
Hamid Hemmati; Don M. Boroson, Editor(s)

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