We propose to investigate the use of photonic lanterns for free space optical communications. Photonic lanterns have the potential to provide a pathway to lowering the cost and complexity of future optical ground stations by eliminating the need for extremely costly Adaptive Optics. In coherent optical communications, they also offer the possibility of arraying small low cost receive telescopes to provide greater collection area at much lower cost than a single large aperture receiver.More »
Photonic lanterns will possibly allow us to collect the signal from a laser communication downlink and couple it to single mode fibers without the use of Adaptive Optics.
By eliminating the need for adaptive optics on ground terminals, the cost and complexity would be greatly reduced. It is hoped that this proposed work could eventually be used in subsequent years to create a demonstration ground receiver for LCRD, or some other NASA laser communications mission.
By starting this work now, we have the possibility of developing it in time to demonstrate it with LCRD when it comes online and also possibly demonstrating it on the upcoming ORION lasercom mission.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Greenbelt, MD|
|Glenn Research Center (GRC)||Supporting Organization||NASA Center||Cleveland, OH|