26 April 1999 Optical communications study for the Next-Generation Space Telescope
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Abstract
The Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), part of NASA's Origins program, is a follow on to the Hubble Space Telescope expected to provide timely new science along with answering fundamental questions. NGST is a large diameter, infrared optimized telescope with imaging and spectrographic detectors which will be used to help study the origin of galaxies. Due to the large data NGST will collect, Goddard Space Flight Center has considered the use of optical communications for data downlink. The Optical Communications Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has performed a study on optical communications systems for NGST. The objective of the study was to evaluate the benefits gained through the use of optical communication technologies. Studies were performed for each of four proposed NGST orbits. The orbits considered were an elliptical orbit about the semi stable second Lagrangian point, a 1 by 3 AU elliptic orbit around the sun, a 1 AU drift orbit, and a 1 AU drift orbit at a 15 degree incline to the ecliptic plane. An appropriate optical communications system was determined for each orbit. Systems were evaluated in terms of mass, power consumption, size, and cost for each of the four proposed orbits.
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Juan M. Ceniceros, Juan M. Ceniceros, James R. Lesh, James R. Lesh, } "Optical communications study for the Next-Generation Space Telescope", Proc. SPIE 3615, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XI, (26 April 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.346180; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.346180
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