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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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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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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

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
6 votes
2 answers
409 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
261 views

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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5 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
Nathan Tuggy's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
314 views

Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) - from what distance could a flashlight be detected by a space-based telescope

Flight laser transmitter - for Psyche mission has Mass 29 kg (100 W). It also requires pointing up to 3 degrees of the Sun (towards the receiver telescope). My question is about really small probes (...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
409 views

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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4 votes
1 answer
417 views

Data rate in optical free space communication systems

Mynaric is one of the main suppliers of laser terminal for free space communication. In one of its latest publications I have read, they will increase the data rate of the last lasercom terminal up to ...
Anna Koroleva's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
572 views

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
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
4 votes
2 answers
487 views

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
0 answers
299 views

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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4 votes
0 answers
391 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
384 views

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
1 answer
104 views

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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3 votes
2 answers
752 views

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 ...
Glinka's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
384 views

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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3 votes
1 answer
179 views

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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3 votes
1 answer
178 views

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 votes
0 answers
58 views

Radio coherent transponders are the foundation of deep space navigation, have optical analogues been used? If so, the furthest distance measured?

Coherent radio transponders receive a signal from Earth containing specially encoded modulation, amplify it and retransmit it back to Earth. Correlating the received signal with the transmitted signal ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
76 views

Hypothetical Internet on Phobos

If there was a ground base on the surface of Phobos, with current or developing technology, would it be viable to have an internet connection? Even with optical communication like DSOC, would it be ...
shizuka's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
84 views

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
  • 149k
2 votes
1 answer
287 views

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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2 votes
1 answer
177 views

Optic communication: day and night

Will launched time of a laser satellite teminal affect to transmission parameters, as data rate, power …? As I know , the main limitation of lasercom is a direct line-of-sight path exists between a ...
Adil.Kolenko's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
139 views

Transmit power for low/high wavelength [closed]

I am reading the book: Kaushal, H., Jain, V.K. and Kar, S., 2017. Free space optical communication. New Delhi: Springer India. I have asked before about a reason of choice of wavelength for beacon ...
Noel Miller's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
138 views

"...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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
297 views

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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2 votes
0 answers
91 views

How to calculate laser link spot size

In the reseach paper " A laser link from lunar surface..." , chapter 2.1.3.: When employing, for example, 20 cm diameter apertures at the transmitter telescopes and considering a carrier ...
FrimHart64's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
125 views

What is the current status of space laser communication (lasercom) in Russia and China?

Space-based laser communications (Free Space Optics) is making a dent in the field of satcom, but as always news from the East doesn't seem to make much appearance in English-speaking media. From ...
Polar_Bear's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
127 views

What interstellar data rates are feasible? [closed]

Preamble: Mankind has colonized the galaxy with self replicating machines which build transceivers when they arrive at a new star system which transmit and receive uploaded human minds and AI between ...
darsie's user avatar
  • 441
1 vote
2 answers
81 views

Is interstellar communications by transit ray blocking ("Dark Star") novel, plausible?

My son (15) invented what seems me to be a new form of inter-stellar communications, that we've dubbed "Dark Star". The idea is to deploy a swarm of small (perhaps a bit larger than nano, ...
jackisquizzical's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
245 views

Frequency/Spectrum regulation document for laser communication

For RF we have the frequency allocation table, where the RF spectrum is regulated. Optical has big bandwidth, there is a lot of frequency space. How do we regulate optical spectrum? I didnt find any ...
Adil.Kolenko's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
225 views

Do we use masers, lasers or infrared lasers to send data from deep space back to Earth? If not, why not?

I have posted in a couple of places (including here) about the recent (in the past year) news about future probes, landers, etc. using strong visible light lasers to send data back to us at much ...
Kurt Hikes's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
414 views

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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1 vote
1 answer
468 views

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
1 vote
0 answers
44 views

How big does a LEO relay satellite optical communication package need to be to support cislunar operations?

One of the things to come out of Artemis 1 was that NASA’s Deep Space Network was very overworked supporting Orion and eight cubesats + normal operations and maintenance. This led to some slightly ...
Barry Jenakuns's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
28 views

Optical communications modulation basics

I'm a Physicist and have a good background into the Physics of optical systems, but I like to learn more indepth about the various formats used in optical communications such as ook, NRZ, RZ, PAM4, ...
user51046's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
48 views

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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1 vote
0 answers
76 views

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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
56 views

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
  • 149k
0 votes
1 answer
262 views

PAT (Pointing Acquisition, and Tracking) system in lasercom

After reading some articles and posting questions 1, 2 I think, the main challenges are PAT (Pointing Acquisition, and Tracking) system and operating environment. We must put the beam onto the ...
Anna Koroleva's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
145 views

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
-3 votes
1 answer
198 views

Free space optical communication simulation in matlab [closed]

I want to do availability assessment of a free space optical link with weather data. However, available weather data are not sufficient and are not in needed standard. Hence, I manipulated with some ...
Ekata Niraula's user avatar