The OCSD mission will demonstrate high-speed optical transmission of data using a miniature laser communications system that will increase downlink data rates for small spacecraft from the typical existing rates of about 10 kilobits per second (kb/s) to a theoretical limit of 200 megabits per second (Mb/s). The mission will also demonstrate small spacecraft proximity operations and RF-crosslinking of data between two spacecraft. OCSD includes two flight demonstrations, a single satellite engineering risk reduction flight with a 1.5U CubeSat and then the full demonstration mission with two 1.5U CubeSats.More »
The optical communication technology flown on OCSD has the potential greatly increase the data downlink capability for CubeSats to up to 200 Mb/s. This will extend the capability of CubeSats and further enable their use for CubeSats high value data-intensive science missions. Additionally the proximity operations element of the demonstration will help develop capabilities for servicing, support, and other operations requiring relative maneuvering of small spacecraft.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|The Aerospace Corporation||Lead Organization||Industry||El Segundo, California|
|Ames Research Center (ARC)||Supporting Organization||NASA Center||Moffett Field, California|
The OCSD mission demonstrated error free optical laser communications at a data rate of 200 Mbps from a 1.5U (10 x 10 x 15cm) spacecraft. The two OCSD spacecraft are continuing their mission with formation flight testing in 2019 having already demonstrated a propulsive rendezvous with water fueled maneuvering thrusters to rejoin the spacecraft after post deployment drift.
For more information, see: "The NASA Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration Program: Proximity Operations,” Proceedings of the AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites, SSC18-I-05.