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26 February 2010 Lasercom for interplanetary missions: recent European activities, future possibilities, and synergy aspects
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Science return and high bandwidth communications are key issues to support the foreseen endeavors on spaceflights to the Moon and beyond. For a given mass, power consumption and volume, laser communications can offer an increase in telemetry bandwidth over classical RF technology allowing for a variety of new options, like more raw scientific data being sent back to Earth where data processing can be performed on ground. Recent European activities in the field of laser communications investigated mission scenarios for deep space and within the Earth's sphere of influence. Various link topologies have been investigated, involving Lissajous orbits at Libration points of the Earth-Sun and the Moon- Earth system, and also Martian orbiters. Different types of lasercom terminal concepts have been investigated, either operating fully autonomously or being attached to dedicated telecom orbiter spacecraft. Enhanced pulse position modulation formats were tested together with tailored FEC and interleaver technology in inter-island test campaigns using ESA's optical ground station on Tenerife. The paper summarizes the findings from all activities, highlights the potential and describes synergy aspects of involved technologies, all in view using lasercom as part of an integrated RF-optical TT&C subsystem to support enhanced science return.
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T. Dreischer, F. Arnold, K. Kudielka, Y. Tissot, and T. Weigel "Lasercom for interplanetary missions: recent European activities, future possibilities, and synergy aspects", Proc. SPIE 7587, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XXII, 758704 (26 February 2010);

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