15 February 2018 TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD): a demonstration of large-volume direct-to-Earth data transfer from low-Earth orbit
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Abstract
Delivery of large volumes of data from low-Earth orbit to ground is challenging due to the short link durations associated with direct-to-Earth links. The short ranges that are typical for such links enable high data rates with small terminals. While the data rate for radio-frequency links is typically limited by available spectrum, optical links do not have such limitations. However, to date, demonstrations of optical links from low-Earth orbit to ground have been limited to ~10 to ~1000 Mbps. We describe plans for NASA’s TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD) system, which will demonstrate a direct-to-Earth optical communication link from a CubeSat in low-Earth orbit at burst rates up to 200 Gbps. Such a link is capable of delivering >50 Terabytes per day from a small spacecraft to a single small ground terminal.
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B. S. Robinson, B. S. Robinson, D. M. Boroson, D. M. Boroson, C. M. Schieler, C. M. Schieler, F. I. Khatri, F. I. Khatri, O. Guldner, O. Guldner, S. Constantine, S. Constantine, T. Shih, T. Shih, J. W. Burnside, J. W. Burnside, B. C. Bilyeu, B. C. Bilyeu, F. Hakimi, F. Hakimi, A. Garg, A. Garg, G. Allen, G. Allen, E. Clements, E. Clements, D. M. Cornwell, D. M. Cornwell, } "TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD): a demonstration of large-volume direct-to-Earth data transfer from low-Earth orbit ", Proc. SPIE 10524, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXX, 105240V (15 February 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2295023; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2295023
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