Bidirectional space to ground laser communication system for cubesat

1Manzoni, G, 2Kuzkov, V, 3Abele, M, 3Vjaters, J, 3Treijs, A
1Microspace Srl, Trieste, Italy
2Main Astronomical Observatory of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
3HEE Photonic Labs, Riga, Latvia
Space Sci.&Technol. 2018, 24 ;(2):47-54
https://doi.org/10.15407/knit2018.02.047
Section: Space Navigation and Communications
Publication Language: English
Abstract: 
Laser communication has potential advantages in comparison to radio frequency communication for space vehicles. The project team developed the concept of bidirectional communication system for FSO laser communication link with ST of LEO nano -,micro-satellites (with emphasis on CubeSat) or UAV to transportable or stationary positioned GT to achieve the high data rate communications.
           Very accurate pointing and tracking capability provided by optical auto-tracking options for both ST and GT allows fast moving flying platforms with very precise visible movement tracking with their optical telescopes optical axes alignment. It allows data optical transmission over long distance, while requiring fewer resources from the flying platform ST hardware, e.g. SWaP giving significant advantages compared to existing solutions. Our innovative diffraction resolution aberration free optical system for ST with broad spectrum band for transmit, receive and video optical channels was used.
           The GT optical systems are embedded in lightweight 2-axes alt-alt mount with enhanced turning range allowing smooth high speed tracking without any interruptions at Zenith.  All GT optical systems axes and the alt-alt mount axes are controlled by an auto-collimator having unique auto adjustment feature. The innovative stationary positioned GT is also proposed.
Keywords: ADCS (Attitude Determination Control System), communication, CubeSat, FSO (Free Space Optics), GT (Ground Terminal), laser, LEO (Low Earth Orbit), optical system, Power), ST (Space Terminal), SWaP (Size, UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), Weight
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