29 October 2015 Ground stations for aeronautical and space laser communications at German Aerospace Center
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Free-space laser communications are subject of current research and development in many research and industrial bodies. Long distance air-ground and space-ground can be implemented in future communication networks as feeder, backbone and backhaul links for various air- and space-based scenarios. The Institute of Communications and Navigation of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) operates two ground stations to investigate the communication channel and system: the Optical Ground Station Oberpfaffenhofen and the Transportable Optical Ground Station. The first one is a fixed installation and operated as experimental station with focus on channel measurements and tests of new developments. Various measurement devices, communication receivers and optical setups may easily be installed for different objectives. The facility is described with its dome installation, telescope setup and infrastructure. Past and current deployment in several projects is described and selected measurement achievements presented. The second ground station is developed for semi-operational use and demonstration purposes. Based on experience with the experimental ground station, this one is developed with higher level of integration and system robustness. The focus application is the space-ground and air-ground downlink of payload data from Earth observation missions. Therefore, it is also designed to be easily transportable for worldwide deployment. The system is explained and main components are discussed. The characteristics of both ground stations are presented and discussed. Further advancements in the equipment and capability are also presented.
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Florian Moll, Florian Moll, Amita Shrestha, Amita Shrestha, Christian Fuchs, Christian Fuchs, } "Ground stations for aeronautical and space laser communications at German Aerospace Center", Proc. SPIE 9647, Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks XI; and Advanced Free-Space Optical Communication Techniques and Applications, 96470I (29 October 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2194093; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2194093

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