We present the space qualification of a multi-channel mid-power booster optical fiber amplifier (OFA) suitable for 1550nm LEO satellite to ground laser communication downlinks. The end-to-end OFA development from conceptual design all the way through qualification testing followed ECSS-level Product Assurance guidelines for deployed materials, components and processes. The environmental qualification test programme relied on ECSS-E-10-03C which is the ESA standard for qualification testing of space segment hardware. The qualification results show robust functional and structural performance following stress at all 3 possible excitation axes with high level sine vibration, random vibration and mechanical shock as well as thermal cycling between survival and operating temperatures in vacuum condition. In addition to thermo-mechanical tests, proton and gamma radiation tests performed on component and sub-assembly level suggest that the OFA is capable to deliver its performance under ionizing and non-ionizing radiation levels found in the LEO orbit. The OFA has been delivered for system integration into the Optel-μ terminal, applicable to small satellite platforms.
E. Kehayas, J. Edmunds, C. Palmer, C. Coopman, R. Webb, M. Tuci, M. Kechagias, K. Simpson, M. Welch, and L. Stampoulidis, "Space qualification of multi-channel optical fiber amplifier for low Earth orbit satellite-to-ground direct downlinks," Proc. SPIE 10524, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXX, 105240Z (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 30, 2018; Published: 15 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2289664.
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