The backend optical assembly module for a space-based, laser communication terminal is presented. The backend optical assembly utilizes voice coil-fast steering mirror technology embedded into a control loop that both provides terminal-level pointing capability, and maintains receive channel fiber coupling. The fast steering mirror technology presents a technical solution for operating within the space environment, while simultaneously meeting the bandwidth requirements for characteristic satellite vibration profiles. The system’s architecture design meets the demands of onplatform, jitter-rejection performance to establish and maintain a communication link.
Axisymmetric optical components such as lenses are frequently centered with the use of rotary air bearings, guided
by optical instrumentation that use reflected or transmitted light. This report systematically explores methods of
adjusting optical elements including wedged-shims, fine pitch screws, and positioning rods with a goal of defining the
accuracy that can be expected. Analysis of the performance is supported with experimental data. A characterization and
discussion of the merits of each positioning method is additionally presented.