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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

High Speed Lasercom Signal Processing and Ground Station, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Space laser communications offer the promise and opportunity to downlink greatly increased data volumes from space as a supplement to radio frequency (RF) systems. The objectives of this SBIR support NASA's deep space and near-earth optical communications needs by developing and making key technologies available to spacecraft/instrument developers and ground station operators that scale data volumes dramatically at a cost point that enables operational use for NASA missions. We propose to develop a modular optical ground station architecture that can scale to hundreds of Gbps data rates from lunar and near-earth orbits in a gradual, low-cost, readably scalable manner accommodating the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) network standards and in the future supporting multiple protocols. This SBIR will also develop a spaceflight high speed Serially Concatenated Pulse Position Modulation (SCPPM) data channel encoder for the spaceflight modem and the complementary decoder for ground station use. Current and future space technology demonstration programs have been successful in maturing laser optical technology and have primarily focused on the space segment of the link. Fibertek will develop an integrated spaceflight and ground station optical communication architecture that provides NASA and/or its potential commercial suppliers with the ability to support hundreds of Gbps downlink. space missions with laser and lidar instrument payloads. More »

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