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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Hermod: optical payload technology demonstrator flying on PROBA-V: overview of the payload development, testing and results after 1 year in orbit exploitation
Author(s): S. Hernandez; J. Blasco; V. Henriksen; H. Samuelsson; O. Navasquillo; M. Grimsgaard; K. Mellab

Paper Abstract

Proba-V is the third mission of ESA’s Programme for In-orbit Technology Demonstration (IOD), based on a small, high performance satellite platform and a compact payload. Besides, the main satellite instrument aiming at Vegetation imaging, Proba-V embarks five technological payloads providing early flight opportunities for novel instruments and space technologies. Successfully launched by the ESA VEGA launcher in May 2013, it has now completed its commissioning and the full calibration of platform, main instrument and additional payloads and is, since last October, fully operational.

The High dEnsity space foRM cOnnector Demonstration or HERMOD is the last payload selected to fly on Proba-V. The payload objective is to validate through an actual launch and in orbit high-density optical fibre cable assembly, cumulate space heritage for fibre optics transmission and evaluate possible degradation induced by the space environment compared to on-ground tests. The future applications of this technology are for intrasatellite optical communications in view of mass reduction, the electrical grounding simplification and to increase the transmission rate. The project has been supported under an ESA GSTP contract. T&G Elektro (Norway) developed and tested the different optical cable assembly to be validated in the payload. The electrooptic modules, control, power and mechanical interfaces have been developed by DAS Photonics (Spain).

The payload contains four optical channels to be studied through the experiment, two assemblies with MTP/PC connectors and two assemblies with MPO/APC connectors. Optical data is transmitted in the four independent channels using two optoelectronic conversion modules (SIOS) working at 100Mbps including 2 full duplex channels each. A FPGA is used to generate, receive and compare the different binary patterns. The number of errors (if any) and Bit Error Rate (BER) is sent to the satellite TM interface. HERMOD successfully went through all mechanical and environmental tests before the integration in a very limited time. The telemetry data is currently sent to ground on daily basis. All the channels have survived the launch and no BER has been measured with the exception of channel 2, currently recording a BER of 3.06*10-16, that exhibits from time to time a burst of errors due to synchronizing issues of the initial data frame. It is expected to observe during the operating life of the payload the first errors within the channel 4 which was designed on purpose with reduced power margin.

This paper will present the full overview of the HERMOD technology demonstrator including the development, testing, validation activity, integration, commissioning and 1 year in-orbit exploitation results.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 November 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10563, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014, 1056336 (17 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2304192
Show Author Affiliations
S. Hernandez, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)
J. Blasco, DAS Photonics (Spain)
V. Henriksen, T&G (Norway)
H. Samuelsson, T&G (Norway)
O. Navasquillo, DAS Photonics (Spain)
M. Grimsgaard, T&G (Norway)
K. Mellab, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10563:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014
Zoran Sodnik; Bruno Cugny; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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