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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Optical communications downlink from a 1.5U Cubesat: OCSD program
Author(s): T. S. Rose; D. W. Rowen; S. LaLumondiere; N. I. Werner; R. Linares; A. Faler; J. Wicker; C. M. Coffman; G. A. Maul; D. H. Chien; A. Utter; R. P. Welle; S. W. Janson

Paper Abstract

In this presentation, we discuss the first demonstration of a lasercom downlink from a LEO 1.5U 2.3 kg CubeSat to our optical ground station at The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, CA. Two vehicles, AC7-B&C, built under NASA’s Optical Communications and Sensors Demonstration (OCSD) program and described in previous presentations, were launched in November 2017 and placed in a 450-km circular orbit. Following on-orbit checkouts and preliminary pointing calibration utilizing on-board star trackers, we have demonstrated (at the time of this manuscript submission) communications links up to 100 Mbps with bit error rates near 10-6 without any forward error correction. Further optimization of the vehicle pointing and detection electronics and operating the transmitter at its full power capacity should enable performance improvements and potential for higher data rates.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2019
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 11180, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018, 111800J (12 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2535938
Show Author Affiliations
T. S. Rose, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
D. W. Rowen, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
S. LaLumondiere, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
N. I. Werner, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
R. Linares, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
A. Faler, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
J. Wicker, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
C. M. Coffman, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
G. A. Maul, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
D. H. Chien, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
A. Utter, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
R. P. Welle, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
S. W. Janson, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11180:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018
Zoran Sodnik; Nikos Karafolas; Bruno Cugny, Editor(s)

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