The characteristics of the terminals for the inter-satellite laser communication must be tested and verified on ground before flight test. Satellite relative-movement trajectory optical simulator is one of the most important devices of the ground test and verification system. It is used for simulation of the relative-movement between arbitrary satellites. Cooperating with the standard satellite laser communication terminal, the dynamical performance such as acquisition time and probability, pointing accuracy and tracking accuracy etc, of the terminal to be tested can be obtained. To keep the base of the terminal to be tested fixed, the clear aperture must be relatively large compare to the terminal's effect aperture. And for the practical application as well as in considering the size of optical glass commercially available, the optical aperture of the scanner was determined as φ420mm, the random accuracy for the simulation is 50-200μrad, Scanning angular coverage: azimuth ±180°, elevation ±15°. So the satellite relative-movement trajectory simulator belongs to the large-scale high-precision opto-mechanic and electrical equipment.
In this paper, the design and fabrication of the simulator are introduced in detail. The simulator has the features as compact in construction, high accuracy in measurement, simple realization of the far-field condition in the near-field use, and direct simulation of 2D trajectory and consists of eight main elements: two wedge prisms, two pairs of worm and gear, damping gears, two actuating motors, two damping motors, rotating optical encoders, control computer and relevant electronics and mechanisms. The motivation of the design is to improve the accuracy as high as possible. The fabrication of the element of the simulator is stringent because of large-scale and high accuracy. For example, to solve the gap problem of the transmission mechanics, the damping method is introduced to the system. During the progress of the design and fabrication, many new and creative ideas are proposed. Finally, the calibration and the validation are discussed.