16 March 2015 LEO to ground optical communications from a small satellite platform
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Abstract
A pair of 2.2 kg CubeSats using COTS hardware is being developed for a proof-of-principle optical communications demo from a 450-600 km LEO orbit to ground. The 10x10x15 cm platform incorporates a 25% wall-plug efficient 10-W Yb fiber transmitter emitting at 1.06 μm. Since there are no gimbals on board, the entire spacecraft is body-steered toward the ground station. The pointing accuracy of the LEO craft, which governs the data rate capability, is expected to be ~ 0.1-0.2 deg. Two optical ground stations, located at the Mt. Wilson observatory, have receiver apertures of 30 and 80 cm. Launch of the CubeSat pair is anticipated to be mid to late 2015.
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T. S. Rose, T. S. Rose, S. W. Janson, S. W. Janson, S. LaLumondiere, S. LaLumondiere, N. Werner, N. Werner, D. H. Hinkley, D. H. Hinkley, D. W. Rowen, D. W. Rowen, R. A. Fields, R. A. Fields, R. P. Welle, R. P. Welle, } "LEO to ground optical communications from a small satellite platform", Proc. SPIE 9354, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXVII, 93540I (16 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2087275; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2087275
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