30 September 1994 Solid state laser communications in space (SOLACOS) high data rate satellite communication system verification program
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Abstract
This paper gives an overview on the current development status of the SOLACOS program and presents the highlights of the program. SOLACOS (Solid State Laser Communications in Space) is the national German program to develop a high performance laser communication system for high data rate transmission between LEO and GEO satellites (Inter Orbit Link, IOL). Two experimental demonstrator terminals are designed and developed in the SOLACOS program. The main development objectives are the Pointing Acquisition and Tracking subsystem (PAT) and the high data rate communication system. All key subsystems and components are straightway developed to be upgraded in follow- on projects to full space qualification. The main design objective for the system is a high degree of modularity which allows to easily upgrade the system with new upcoming technologies. Therefore, all main subsystems are interconnected via fibers to ease replacement of subsystems. The system implements an asymmetric data link with a 650 MBit/s return channel and a 10 MBit/s forward channel. The 650 MBit/s channel is based on a diode pumped Nd:YAG, Integrated Optics Modulator and uses the syncbit transmission scheme. In the syncbit system synchronization information which is necessary to maintain phase lock of the local oscillator of the coherent receiver is transmitted time multiplexed into the data stream. The PAT system comprises two beam detection sensors and three beam steering elements. For initial acquisition and tracking of the remote satellite a high speed CCD camera with an integrated image processing unit, the Acquisition and Tracking Sensor (ATS) is used. In the tacking mode the beam position is sensed via the Fibernutator sensor which is also used to couple the incoming signal into the receiver fiber. Incoming and outgoing beams are routed through the telescopes which are positioned with a 2 axis gimbal mechanism and a high speed beam steering mirror. The PAT system is controlled by a digital signal processor. For beam control advanced PAT algorithms are under development.
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Klaus Pribil, Klaus Pribil, Joerg Flemmig, Joerg Flemmig, } "Solid state laser communications in space (SOLACOS) high data rate satellite communication system verification program", Proc. SPIE 2210, Space Optics 1994: Space Instrumentation and Spacecraft Optics, (30 September 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.188089; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.188089
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