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29 October 2015 LCT for EDRS: LEO to GEO optical communications at 1,8 Gbps between Alphasat and Sentinel 1a
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The European Data Relay System (EDRS) relies on optical communication links between Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and geostationary (GEO) spacecrafts. Data transmission at 1,8 Gbps between the S/Cs will be applied for link distances up to 45000 km. EDRS is foreseen to go into operation in 2015. As a precursor to the EDRS GEO Laser Communication Terminals (LCT), a LCT is embarked on the Alphasat GEO S/C, which was launched in July 2013. Sentinel 1A is a LEO earth observation satellite as part of ESAs Copernicus program. Sentinel 1A also has a LCT on board. In November 2014, the first optical communication link between a LEO and a GEO Laser Communication Terminal at gigabit data rates has been performed successfully [1]. Data generated by the Sentinel 1A instrument were optically transferred to Alphasat. From Alphasat, the data were transmitted via Kaband to a ground station. In the ground station, the original data were recovered successfully. So the whole chain from LEO to ground was verified. Since then, many optical communication links between the Alphasat LCT and the Sentinel 1A LCT were performed. During these tests, the acquisition and tracking performance was investigated. The first communication links showed a very robust link acquisition capability and tracking errors in the sub-μrad range. The communication link budget was verified and compared to the predictions, showing excellent overall system behavior with sufficient margin to support future GEO GEO link applications.
© (2015) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
H. Zech, F. Heine, D. Tröndle, S. Seel, M. Motzigemba, R. Meyer, and S. Philipp-May "LCT for EDRS: LEO to GEO optical communications at 1,8 Gbps between Alphasat and Sentinel 1a", Proc. SPIE 9647, Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks XI; and Advanced Free-Space Optical Communication Techniques and Applications, 96470J (29 October 2015);


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