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SBIR/STTR

Vibration Isolation Platform for Long Range Optical Communications, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Optical communication links provide higher data transfer rates with lower mass, power, and volume than conventional radio-frequency links. For deep space applications at long operational ranges, high performance stabilization of the space terminal data link is required. To meet this need, CDI proposes a novel application of our free-floating isolation platform. Based upon a Shuttle-proven technology, this approach yields 6-DOF isolation from the disturbances of the host vehicle while providing high-bandwidth active stabilization to attenuate both payload disturbances as well as any residual disturbances transferred from the base across the power/data umbilical. The proposed approach is designed to achieve better than 0.5microradian-rms stabilization for all frequencies above 0.1Hz when operating in a space environment. Phase I develops the proposed design concept, performs architecture trade studies, and predicts performance to establish the feasibility of the approach. Using an available free-floating isolation platform and a 2-axis low-g testbed, the design concept is prototyped and demonstrated on hardware in a simulated low-g environment (TRL-5). Phase II proceeds with the development of a prototype system that will be space qualified through comprehensive ground testing (TRL-6). Technology demonstration flight tests will be proposed on sRLVs and/or ISS platforms (e.g., WORF, OPALS upgrade), achieving a TRL-7 maturity by the end of Phase II. More »

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Technology Maturity (TRL)

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