Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a method for establishing secure cryptographic keys between two parties who share an optical, “quantum” channel and an authenticated classical channel. To share such keys across the globe, space-based links are required and in the near term these will take the form of trusted node, key management satellites. We consider such channels between two nanosatellite spacecraft for polarization entanglement-based QKD, and the optical channel is described in detail. Quantum channels between satellites are useful for balancing keys within constellations of trusted node QKD satellites and, in the future, may have applications in long-distance qubit exchange between quantum computers and in fundamental physics experiments. The nanosatellite mission proposed uses an optical link with 80-mm diameter optical terminals. If such a link could be maintained with 10-μrad pointing accuracy, then this would allow QKD to be performed for satellite separations up to around 400 km. A potential pointing and tracking system is also described although currently this design would likely limit the satellite separation to 100 to 150 km.
The modeling of the scattering phenomena for the multielement telescope for imaging and spectroscopy (METIS) coronagraph on board the European Space Agency Solar Orbiter is reported. METIS is an inverted occultation coronagraph including two optical paths: the broadband imaging of the full corona in linearly polarized visible-light (580 to 640 nm) and the narrow-band imaging of the full corona in the ultraviolet Lyman-α (121.6 nm). METIS will have the unique opportunity of observing the solar outer atmosphere as close to the Sun as 0.28 AU and from up to 35 deg out-of-ecliptic. The stray-light simulations performed on the UV and VL channels of the METIS analyzing the contributors of surface microroughness, particulate contamination, cosmetic defects, and diffraction are reported. The results obtained with the nonsequential modality of Zemax OpticStudio are compared with two different approaches: the Monte Carlo ray trace with Advanced Systems Analysis Program (ASAP®) and a semianalytical model. The results obtained with the three independently developed approaches are in considerable agreement and show compliance to the requirement of stray-light level for both the UV and VL channels.
RapidEye AG is a commercial provider of geo-spatial information products derived from Earth observation image data.
The source of this data is the RapidEye constellation of five low-earth-orbit imaging satellites. Image data from satellite
electro-optical sensors contains spatial artifacts such as banding and streaking that are caused by detector responsivity
variations, factors related to image formation, and the space environment. This paper describes the results of a relative
radiometric calibration and correction campaign that was conducted between March and July 2011 using the side-slither
technique. Radiometrically uniform terrestrial scenes that included desert and snow/ice regions were imaged with a
RapidEye sensor in a ninety-degree yaw orbital configuration. In this configuration each detector on the focal plane was
positioned parallel to the ground-track direction thereby exposing each detector to the light reflected from the same
segment of the ground. This maneuver produced a radiometrically flat-field input to the sensor so that the relative
response of each detector was determined for the same exposure level. Side-slither derived detector correction
parameters were then used to improve the quality of RapidEye imagery that contained noticeable spatial artifacts. A
significant improvement in image correction was achieved when compared to our standard correction procedures.
RapidEye AG is a commercial provider of geospatial information products and customized solutions derived from Earth observation image data. The source of the data is the RapidEye constellation consisting of five low-earth-orbit imaging satellites. We describe the rationale, methods, and results of a reflectance-based vicarious calibration campaign that was conducted between April 2009 and May 2010 at Railroad Valley Playa and Ivanpah Playa to determine the on-orbit radiometric accuracy of the RapidEye sensor. In situ surface spectral reflectance measurements of known ground targets and an assessment of the atmospheric conditions above the sites were taken during spacecraft overpasses. The ground data are used as input to a radiative transfer code to compute a band-specific top-of-atmosphere spectral radiance. A comparison of these predicted values based on absolute physical data to the measured at-sensor spectral radiance provide the absolute calibration of the sensor. Initial assessments show that the RapidEye sensor response is within 8% of the predicted values. Outcomes from this campaign are then used to update the calibration parameters in the ground segment processing system. Subsequent verification events confirmed that the measured RapidEye response improved to within 4% of the predictions based on the vicarious calibration method.