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Proceedings Paper

Daytime adaptive optics for deep space optical communication
Author(s): Lewis C. Roberts Jr.; Seth Meeker; Sabino Piazzola; J. Chris Shelton
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Paper Abstract

Future deep space missions will tax the ability of existing radio frequency systems to return all the data. In addition, these missions must be able to communicate around the clock, including when the spacecraft is near the Sun. This is especially true for crewed missions. Optical communication can solve these problems, and also offers the promise of being more compact and using less power and mass. Traditional deep space optical communication concepts require large diameter telescopes (<8m) to collect enough photons to provide adequate signal-to-noise ratio. Systems operating during the day will experience strong turbulence which results in large point spread functions. This necessitates photon counting detectors with a large field-of-view which are difficult to build. The large field-of-view also lets in excessive sky background which degrades the communication performance. Adaptive optics (AO) can mitigate this degradation by concentrating the light and thus not needing a large field of view. We present an AO system architecture capable of operating in the daytime and requiring only moderate performance. We present the architecture along with performance predictions of the system for different size telescopes. Finally we include a technology gap list, which will guide future development of the component technologies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 September 2019
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 11133, Laser Communication and Propagation through the Atmosphere and Oceans VIII, 1113308 (6 September 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2524633
Show Author Affiliations
Lewis C. Roberts Jr., Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Seth Meeker, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Sabino Piazzola, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
J. Chris Shelton, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11133:
Laser Communication and Propagation through the Atmosphere and Oceans VIII
Jeremy P. Bos; Alexander M. J. van Eijk; Stephen Hammel, Editor(s)

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