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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Research and Development of a Transportable Ground Optical Station in NICT

Paper Abstract

In recent years, the necessity of satellite-to-ground optical communication has increased as a method for realizing higher-speed communications between satellites and the ground. However, one disadvantage of free-space optical (FSO) communication is the significant influence of the atmosphere. FSO communications cannot be utilized under certain atmospheric conditions, such as cloudy skies. One of the solutions to this problem is site diversity, which makes it possible to select a given ground station with better atmospheric conditions among a number of fixed ground stations. The other solution is to prepare a ground station that can be moved to a place with better atmospheric conditions. In this paper, we present the development of a transportable optical ground station currently being researched in NICT.
In order to be transportable, it is necessary to build a system capable of travelling on public roads, installable in every place, and ready to be loaded on relatively-light trucks. For this purpose, a realistic telescope diameter is about 30 cm at the maximum, capable of being set up quickly, and with a pointing accuracy of about 100 μrad. In addition, it is necessary to prepare a fine-pointing optical system that performs tracking with about 1/10 of the pointing accuracy of the telescope. In this research, we will develop the base of the transportable optical ground station using the knowledge of mobile astronomical telescopes. With respect to tracking, we will develop a smaller and lighter fine-tracking system based on NICT’s previous experience. If necessary, we plan to develop an adaptive-optics system for correcting atmospheric disturbances to improve the fiber-coupling efficiency of the communication laser beam.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2019
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 11180, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018, 111805S (12 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2536127
Show Author Affiliations
Yoshihiko Saito, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
Yasushi Munemasa, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
Hideki Takenaka, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
Hiroo Kunimori, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
Dimitar Kolev, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
Alberto Carrasco-Casado, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
Yoshisada Koyama, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
Koichi Shiratama, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
Toshihiro Kubo-oka, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
Morio Toyoshima, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)


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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