19 March 2013 Three years coherent space to ground links: performance results and outlook for the optical ground station equipped with adaptive optics
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Abstract
Tesat is performing inter-satellite links (ISLs) for over 5 years now. Besides the successful demonstration of the suitability of coherent laser communication for high speed data transmission in space, Tesat has also conducted two major satellite to ground link (SGL) campaigns during the last 3 years. A transportable ground station has been developed to measure the impact of atmospheric turbulence to the coherent system. The SGLs have been performed between the Tesat optical ground station and the two LEO satellites TerraSAR-X and NFIRE, both equipped with a Tesat LCT. The capability of the LCTs of measuring the signal intensity on a direct detection sensor and on a coherent sensor simultaneously makes the system unique for investigating the atmospheric distortion impacts. In this paper the main results of the SGL campaigns are presented, including BER performance for the uplink and downlink. Measured scintillation profiles versus elevation angles at different weather conditions are illustrated. Finally preliminary results of an adaptive optics system are presented that has been developed to be used in the transportable adaptive optical ground station (T-AOGS) acting as the counter terminal for the LCT mounted on Alphasat, a geostationary satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA), in autumn 2013.
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M. Gregory, D. Troendle, G. Muehlnikel, F. Heine, R. Meyer, M. Lutzer, R. Czichy, "Three years coherent space to ground links: performance results and outlook for the optical ground station equipped with adaptive optics", Proc. SPIE 8610, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXV, 861004 (19 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2022253; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2022253
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