15 February 2018 Deep space optical communications
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The future demand for enhanced telecommunication capacity required to support human and robotic exploration from deep-space has motivated the advancement of free-space laser communication technologies for the past few decades. Steady advances in these technologies, validated through space-to-ground demonstrations, have resulted in incremental advances with the deep-space optical communications (DSOC) technology demonstration being one of the next milestones on NASA’s roadmap. NASA’s Psyche Mission to launch early next decade plans to host a DSOC flight laser transceiver for link demonstrations extending from 0.1 to farther than 2 astronomical units (AU). The capabilities validated though this demonstration, we expect, could spur the use of optical communications infrastructure around Mars in the next few decades. In this paper we summarize ongoing activities underway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in preparation for the DSOC technology demonstration and go on to present discussions on the drivers for developing a robust deep space laser communications operational capability.
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Abhijit Biswas, Abhijit Biswas, Meera Srinivasan, Meera Srinivasan, Sabino Piazzolla, Sabino Piazzolla, Daniel Hoppe, Daniel Hoppe, "Deep space optical communications", Proc. SPIE 10524, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXX, 105240U (15 February 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2296426; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2296426

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