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Questions tagged [optical-communication]

Questions regarding the use of lasers and visible or near-visible wavelengths, rather than radio or microwave, for communication in space.

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Will future deep space optical communications "ground stations" actually be in space, or on the ground?

Deep space communications ground stations are on the ground because their transmit and receive electronics alone is bulky and heavy, not to mention their 34 and 70 meter dish antennas! But those ...
uhoh's user avatar
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How is long-distance optical communications coming along in space?

I remember there was a test of optical communication and some data transfer from lunar orbit to earth, and I think the ISS uploaded (or downloaded-up? which is correct here?) a movie from earth. In ...
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Receiver and transmitter in RF/optic satellite communication: distance vs data rate v2

The first version of this question is here. I have read the article "Optical communications work best over relatively short distances in space." by Toyoshima, M., Leeb, W., Kunimori, H. and ...
Adil.Kolenko's user avatar
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Are there plans or a program for an optical relay pathfinder for deep space?

In Glenn Research Center's Richard Reinhart's slides Space Communication and Navigation TestbedCommunications Technology for Exploration for the 2013 ISS Research and Development Conference I saw an ...
uhoh's user avatar
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What GEO relay satellite will the ISS use for end-to-end optical communication with a ground station?

This LEMNOS page on NASA's Explorations and Space Communications site says: The Integrated Laser Communication Relay Demonstration (LCRD) Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) User Modem and Amplifier Terminal (...
uhoh's user avatar
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How did LADEE and LDRC measure it's distance from Lunar orbit to Earth to 1 centimeter accuracy using optical communications?

The video Donald Cornwell plenary talk: NASA's Optical Communications Program: 2015 and Beyond was presented at SPIE Photonics West 2015. It's a great talk and worth the time. LADEE had [the Laser ...
uhoh's user avatar
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Are direct conversion optical receivers being looked at for future deep-space communication?

In this answer to Receiver and transmitter in RF/optic satellite communication: distance vs data rate v2 I explain that since the currently used photodiode-based photodetectors for optical ...
uhoh's user avatar
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Would plasma sheathes from reentry heating block optical/UV communications as well as radio?

During reentry, it's routine for the ionized atmosphere surrounding the spacecraft to cut off radio communications for a certain period. As far as I know, this can't be avoided, except perhaps by ...
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Did the Starlink precursor Tintin satellites ever talk to each other? If so, how? Did they demonstrate an optical communications link?

Tintin A and B are the first two exploratory and testing spacecraft for SpaceX's Starlink program. It looks like they are in very similar orbits in both space and time, and are probably that way so ...
uhoh's user avatar
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"...extending the Starlink network using longer-range laser comms and relay satellites to reach Mars and Starships in-transit" (Musk & Shotwell)

I have it on good authority that SpaceX's Elon Musk and Gwynne Shotwell: ...have talked about extending the Starlink network using longer-range laser comms and relay satellites to reach Mars and ...
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Long delay-doppler measurements on deep space craft; couldn't optical measurements be made intermittently, mixed with contacts to other spacecraft?

In this comment below Will future deep space optical communications “ground stations” actually be in space, or on the ground? in response to a discussion about ground stations being used for tracking ...
uhoh's user avatar
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How big of a telescope will Psyche's deep space optical communications demonstrator use out at 5 AU?

NASA JPL News item says: The spacecraft's instrument payload includes three science instruments. The mission's magnetometer is designed to detect and measure the remnant magnetic field of the ...
uhoh's user avatar
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Long range laser communication beam divergence angle values?

NASA has been working on demonstrations of laser communication with satellites. The motivation is simple, in that lasers see less power loss because they spread over a smaller angle. That raises the ...
AlanSE's user avatar
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Do the latest Starlink satellites use inter-satellite laser communications?

Do the latest (as of Jan 30, 2020) Starlink satellites use inter-satellite laser communications? I can't find any info about that!
Guilherme Bechtinger's user avatar
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How is the maximum data rate of the Psyche mission's Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) system expected to scale with distance?

NASA's Mission Page Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) includes the following: Key DSOC technologies developed for the project include: a low-mass spacecraft disturbance isolation and pointing ...
uhoh's user avatar
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How to compute each of these link budget terms?

The terms in Equation are all in decibels (dB), which is logarithmically scaled. In Equation, $P_{rx}$ is the received peak power, $P_{tx}$ is the transmitted peak power, $G_{tx}$ is the transmitter ...
Noel Miller's user avatar
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What are the reasons for the specific operating wavelengths chosen for laser communication?

I am reading the book: Kaushal, H., Jain, V.K. and Kar, S., 2017, Free space optical communication, New Delhi: Springer India. The operating wavelengths for beacon and data transmission were discussed....
Noel Miller's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
304 views

There are only a few suppliers of optical terminals: what is the reason?

I am conducting research into optical free space communication and small/nano satellites in LEO. I have found only a few companies which supply lasercom (laser communication) terminals (transmitter/...
Anna Koroleva's user avatar
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Yet another OSIRIS! Has the DLR/GOM Space test of the cubesat optical communications link happened yet?

Speaking of "all things OSIRIS" I just ran across the OSIRIS optical communications system for cubesats and smallsats. OSIRIS (Optical Space Infrared Downlink System) highly compact optical ...
uhoh's user avatar
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Beacon (PAT) in optical free space communication [closed]

Nanosatellite Optical Downlink Experiment (NODE) mission has 3 "signal":downlink, beacon uplink and RF. According to a description of the mission, the high-rate downlink and beacon uplink ...
Anna Koroleva's user avatar
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How many independent demonstrations of optical communications between ground and space have been successful?

As everybody knows, the pioneering work of The Professor and his serendipitous collaborator Gilligan demonstrated the reality of ground to space optical communications back in 1964. In that case ...
uhoh's user avatar
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All Optical Global Network - how does the space-to-ground link avoid clouds?

I just saw the news item in Lightwave's online website: Laser Light to leverage free-space optics in space for Optical Satellite as a Service. All Optical Hybrid Global Network (or HALO, as laser ...
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Will Optical communications be possible between Columbus' Ka-band (COLKa) Terminal at the ISS and EDRS?

The BBC's British radio antenna to arrive at space station says: The new fridge-sized terminal will route video, voice and data to the ground through satellites that are actually higher in the sky ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 answers
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Have amateur satellites ever experimented with optical communications?

I meant to include the more recent amateur satellites such as cubesats, and also amateur radio satellites - where the heritage of amateur satellite building (mostly) has its roots. Have amateur ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
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Characteristics of the inter-satellite optical link

I'm currently diving into this topic and as I understand from the brief search there are two main types of inter-satellite link: radio and optical. As I can see, one of the main distinction of optical ...
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Did Perseverance get an experimental optical communications terminal?

The video Donald Cornwell plenary talk: NASA's Optical Communications Program: 2015 and Beyond was presented at SPIE Photonics West 2015. It's a great talk and worth the time. Near the end at about <...
uhoh's user avatar
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Has Made in Space any track record growing specialty crystals in microgravity before? ("Industrial Crystal Facility" to fly this year)

Ars Technica's There are an insane amount of cool space things happening in 2021 mentions: This year, Made in Space's "Industrial Crystal Facility" should also fly to space. This will serve ...
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