7 March 2017 The C3PO project: a laser communication system concept for small satellites
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Abstract
The satellite market is shifting towards smaller (micro and nanosatellites), lowered mass and increased performance platforms. Nanosatellites and picosatellites have been used for a number of new, innovative and unique payloads and missions. This trend requires new concepts for a reduced size, a better performance/weight ratio and a reduction of onboard power consumption. In this context, disruptive technologies, such as laser-optical communication systems, are opening new possibilities. This paper presents the C3PO1 system, “advanced Concept for laser uplink/ downlink CommuniCation with sPace Objects”, and the first results of the development of its key technologies. This project targets the design of a communications system that uses a ground-based laser to illuminate a satellite, and a Modulating Retro-Reflector (MRR) to return a beam of light modulated by data to the ground. This enables a downlink, without a laser source on the satellite. This architecture suits well to small satellite applications so as high data rates are potentially provided with very low board mass. C3PO project aims to achieve data rates of 1Gbit/s between LEO satellites and Earth with a communication payload mass of less than 1kilogram. In this paper, results of the initial experiments and demonstration of the key technologies will be shown.
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Benoît d'Humières, Benoît d'Humières, Bruno Esmiller, Bruno Esmiller, Yann Gouy, Yann Gouy, Emilie Steck, Emilie Steck, Crisanto Quintana , Crisanto Quintana , Graham Faulkner, Graham Faulkner, Dominic O'Brien, Dominic O'Brien, Fabian Sproll, Fabian Sproll, Paul Wagner, Paul Wagner, Daniel Hampf, Daniel Hampf, Wolfgang Riede, Wolfgang Riede, Michael Salter, Michael Salter, Qin Wang, Qin Wang, Duncan Platt, Duncan Platt, Darius Jakonis, Darius Jakonis, Xiaoyu Piao, Xiaoyu Piao, Mikael Karlsson, Mikael Karlsson, Olof Oberg, Olof Oberg, Ingemar Petermann, Ingemar Petermann, Aneta Michalkiewicz, Aneta Michalkiewicz, Jerzy Krezel, Jerzy Krezel, Anna Debowska, Anna Debowska, Yoann Thueux, Yoann Thueux, } "The C3PO project: a laser communication system concept for small satellites", Proc. SPIE 10096, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXIX, 1009611 (7 March 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2254046; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254046
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