Special Issue "Space-based Laser Communications"

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2018) | Viewed by 4835

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Kerri Cahoy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 37-367, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Interests: free space optical communication; nanosatellites; atmospheric sounding; exoplanet direct imaging; space weather

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Laser communication systems have the potential to improve the speed and latency of data downlink and crosslink for space-based applications, such as Earth observation and satellite communications. Laser communications systems also currently have minimal regulatory constraints compared with highly contested and congested radio frequencies. In addition to highly customized, robust, space-qualified systems, laser communications efforts now also focus on qualifying and using commercial terrestrial fiber-optic communications components on space-based platforms to reduce size, weight, power, and cost, as well as developing architectures that involve large constellations of small satellites and distributed ground station networks to improve availability and mitigate the impact of weather on system performance. Ongoing innovations include autonomous and portable ground station technology, advances in pointing, acquisition and tracking systems for both space and ground applications, the incorporation of precision timing capability, and the evolution of link budget and systems engineering tools away from deterministic link budgets and toward dynamic, uncertainty-based algorithms.

Prof. Dr. Kerri Cahoy
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • laser communications
  • free space optical
  • lasercom
  • ground station
  • telescope
  • adaptive optics
  • pointing acquisition and tracking
  • precision pointing

Published Papers (1 paper)

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The Miniature Optical Communication Transceiver—A Compact, Power-Efficient Lasercom System for Deep Space Nanosatellites
Aerospace 2019, 6(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6010002 - 31 Dec 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4613
Optical communication is becoming more prevalent in orbit due to the need for increased data throughput. Nanosatellites, which are satellites that typically weigh less than 10 kg, are also becoming more common due to lower launch costs that enable the rapid testing of [...] Read more.
Optical communication is becoming more prevalent in orbit due to the need for increased data throughput. Nanosatellites, which are satellites that typically weigh less than 10 kg, are also becoming more common due to lower launch costs that enable the rapid testing of technology in a space environment. Nanosatellites are cheaper to launch than their larger counterparts and may be a viable option for communicating beyond Earth’s orbit, but have strict Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) requirements. The Miniature Optical Communication Transceiver (MOCT) is a compact optical transceiver designed to provide modest data rates to SWaP constrained platforms, like nanosatellites. This paper will cover the optical amplifier characterization and simulated performance of the MOCT amplifier design that produces 1 kW peak power pulses and closes three optical links which include Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Earth, LEO to LEO, and Moon to Earth. Additionally, a benchtop version of the amplifier design was constructed and was able to produce amplified pulses with 1.37 W peak power, including a 35.7% transmit optics loss, at a pump power of 500 mW. Finally, the modulator, seed laser, amplifier, receiver, and time-to-digital converter were all used together to measure the Bit Error Ratio (BER), which was 0.00257 for a received optical peak power of 176 nW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space-based Laser Communications)
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