For some free-space laser communications (lasercom) links impacted by atmospheric-induced scintillation, the principle of reciprocity provides knowledge of a remote terminal's received intensity fluctuations based on measurements of the local terminal's received intensity fluctuations. We evaluate a reciprocity-enhanced technique using optical switching between multiple spatially-diverse transmit apertures to mitigate against atmospheric-induced scintillation. Experimental bit-error rate measurements are presented to quantify the expected performance of this approach in comparison to standard static diversity approaches. We investigate system constraints of this reciprocity-enhanced transmitter diversity approach, and identify candidate optical switches and digital logic for implementation.
The Deformable Mirror Demonstration Mission (DeMi) was recently selected by DARPA to demonstrate in-space operation of a wavefront sensor and Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) deformable mirror (DM) payload on a 6U CubeSat. Space telescopes designed to make high-contrast observations using internal coronagraphs for direct characterization of exoplanets require the use of high-actuator density deformable mirrors. These DMs can correct image plane aberrations and speckles caused by imperfections, thermal distortions, and diffraction in the telescope and optics that would otherwise corrupt the wavefront and allow leaking starlight to contaminate coronagraphic images. DeMi is provide on-orbit demonstration and performance characterization of a MEMS deformable mirror and closed loop wavefront sensing. The DeMi payload has two operational modes, one mode that images an internal light source and another mode which uses an external aperture to images stars. Both the internal and external modes include image plane and pupil plane wavefront sensing. The objectives of the internal measurement of the 140-actuator MEMS DM actuator displacement are characterization of the mirror performance and demonstration of closed-loop correction of aberrations in the optical path. Using the external aperture to observe stars of magnitude 2 or brighter, assuming 3-axis stability with less than 0.1 degree of attitude knowledge and jitter below 10 arcsec RMSE, per observation, DeMi will also demonstrate closed loop wavefront control on an astrophysical target. We present an updated payload design, results from simulations and laboratory optical prototyping, as well as present our design for accommodating high-voltage multichannel drive electronics for the DM on a CubeSat.