We propose a study and lab demonstration of long range (up to 0.5 AU distance) data communication and ranging with small satellite laser links for deep-space science. This study will leverage the recent advances on key components for cubesat navigation, especially pointing and tracking; and transmitter and detector technology from laser comm. We will perform a feasibility study and a lab demonstration for up to a 0.5AU distance link. The proposed performance capabilities are listed in figure 1, with a targeted ranging accuracy better than 10 meter, and communication data rate 125KBPS. With a 3U terminal size, this will enable small satellite science missions where standard communication systems are inviable due to size and power constraints on these missions. The study will show a feasible solution with low-cost and fast uplink/downlink from the mother-ship, compatible with existing ground stations, for small spacecraft at deep space (Cis-lunar and beyond) distances
This project will address the following challenges, and complete link design, Hardware build and link dynamic range demonstration in the lab.
•High precision optical pointing and tracking
•High optical link loss
•Atmosphere turbulence on optical signals
•High peak power, low duty cycle optical transmitter with low weight, size, and power(WSaP).More »
1. Space optical communicaiton
2. Space Formaiton fly
3. Space precision optical rangingMore »
The purpose of the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Internal Research and Development (IRAD) program is to support new technology development and to address scientific challenges. Each year, Principal Investigators (PIs) submit IRAD proposals and compete for funding for their development projects. Goddard’s IRAD program supports eight Lines of Business: Astrophysics; Communications and Navigation; Cross-Cutting Technology and Capabilities; Earth Science; Heliophysics; Planetary Science; Science Small Satellites Technology; and Suborbital Platforms and Range Services.
Task progress is evaluated twice a year at the Mid-term IRAD review and the end of the year. When the funding period has ended, the PIs compete again for IRAD funding or seek new sources of development and research funding or agree to external partnerships and collaborations. In some cases, when the development work has reached the appropriate Technology Readiness Level (TRL) level, the product is integrated into an actual NASA mission or used to support other government agencies. The technology may also be licensed out to the industry.
The completion of a project does not necessarily indicate that the development work has stopped. The work could potentially continue in the future as a follow-on IRAD; or used in collaboration or partnership with Academia, Industry and other Government Agencies.
If you are interested in partnering with NASA, see the TechPort Partnerships documentation available on the TechPort Help tab. http://techport.nasa.gov/helpMore »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Greenbelt, MD|