8 votes
Accepted

Do the latest Starlink satellites use inter-satellite laser communications?

All I could find was here which led to a variety of articles which explain the technology in depth. Not that Wikipedia is always reliable, however it stated that: The satellites will employ optical ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
7 votes

Data rate in optical free space communication systems

You need to look carefully at how it's measured. One of the major contributors to data rate is availability: with low Earth orbit satellites they might only have a few minutes of downlink opportunity ...
Polar_Bear's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

How is long-distance optical communications coming along in space?

The European Data Relay System has recently begun testing. It's for getting data from Earth orbiting satellites down to the ground quickly, without waiting for the satellite to pass over a base ...
Andy's user avatar
  • 5,178
5 votes

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

Challenges Mass production and industrialization: The industry has geared up over decades to supply radio equipment such as phased-array antennas and hardware on satellites. Shifting the production ...
Polar_Bear's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Did Perseverance get an experimental optical communications terminal?

It looks like the answer is probably no. The paper from the 2015 talk seems to refer to this as "a recent NASA JPL study", and notes that it would need a similar terminal on an orbiter. It ...
Andrew is gone's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

How did LADEE and LDRC measure it's distance from Lunar orbit to Earth to 1 centimeter accuracy using optical communications?

In case of optical communication we don't deal with electromagnetic waves that are collected in an antenna at a ridiculously low power level, are amplified by many orders of magnitude and then need to ...
asdfex's user avatar
  • 15k
5 votes

How is long-distance optical communications coming along in space?

The lunar mission which tested optical communication was LADEE. The ISS program you're thinking of is OPALS. Both tests succeeded, but neither was meant for ongoing operation. LADEE intentionally ...
HK JR's user avatar
  • 354
5 votes
Accepted

How is the maximum data rate of the Psyche mission's Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) system expected to scale with distance?

The scaling with $1/r^4$ holds when receiving an optical signal in a way similar to a RF signal, i.e. by reading it as an amplitude signal. Photons in the IR/visible/UV range however can be detected ...
asdfex's user avatar
  • 15k
5 votes
Accepted

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

Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) - from what distance a flashlight1 can be detected2 by a space-based telescope3 1or a 1 W laser, on a really small probes (less than 1kg) 2data received from ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes

Have amateur satellites ever experimented with optical communications?

Not really amateur, but CubeSats for sure. AeroCube 7 / OCSD would have already tested it, but had attitude control problems. Should relaunch in a few months. One can find plenty of detailed ...
ErikK's user avatar
  • 316
3 votes

How to compute each of these link budget terms?

First, a general warning. There is widespread agreement on the full link budget equation, but there are many ways to group its components into named pieces, and different authors make different ...
Ryan C's user avatar
  • 7,882
3 votes
Accepted

Characteristics of the inter-satellite optical link

Yes, the optical link being discussed is a laser--here's an article (behind a paywall, but the abstract mentions that the technology is laser technology) that discusses the exact satellite link you're ...
Justin Eiler's user avatar
3 votes

How many independent demonstrations of optical communications between ground and space have been successful?

Quite a few. Indeed the first ever use of lasercom space-to-ground was in 1994. This was achieved by Japan’s 1-Mb/s laser link to ground from the ETS-VI satellite in GEO. Here are some state-sponsored ...
Polar_Bear's user avatar
3 votes

How many independent demonstrations of optical communications between ground and space have been successful?

Probably the first and only ground to space optical communications experiment with an object on the lunar surface was a laser communication line with Lunokhod-2. "Эта же наземная аппаратура была ...
A. Rumlin's user avatar
  • 7,873
3 votes
Accepted

What GEO relay satellite will the ISS use for end-to-end optical communication with a ground station?

ILLUMA-T will work with the LCRD flight segment payload on Space Test Program Satellite-6 (STPSat-6); see page 4 of this document from SCAN. LCRD’s dual optical link system will allow it to serve ...
Bob Jacobsen's user avatar
  • 12.6k
3 votes

Frequency/Spectrum regulation document for laser communication

Laser communication is not regulated by the International Telecommunication Union or Federal Communications Commission and it can be used without restrictions and does not require costly licenses. ...
Noel Miller's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Have amateur satellites ever experimented with optical communications?

There was one that I can find, a beacon that used infrared light to communicate at a rate or 400 bits/second, on AO-40, which was a technology demonstration mission by AMSAT. ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
2 votes

Characteristics of the inter-satellite optical link

A bit of sparse data are available for the EDRS system from ESA: EDRS And a bit from Airbus EDRS At least some basic data rates and distances.
MichaelO's user avatar
  • 151
2 votes

Are there plans or a program for an optical relay pathfinder for deep space?

What's on the flatbed trailer? If you're referring to slide 4, that's a FRAM (Flight Releasable Attachment Mechanism) - it's a standardized roughly 4x4 foot pallet like thing that the SCaN Testbed is ...
Jim Lux's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
Accepted

Are there plans or a program for an optical relay pathfinder for deep space?

Unfortunately, those slides don't provide much information on what they mean by "relay pathfinder" but the concept of using optical communication in space has been tested and is planned for ...
phobos's user avatar
  • 471
2 votes

PAT (Pointing Acquisition, and Tracking) system in lasercom

You said that the main challenges are: PAT Operating environment Yes they are solved problems. But please elaborate: Who said these are the main challenges? In the links you gave, someone mentioned ...
Polar_Bear's user avatar
2 votes

Beacon (PAT) in optical free space communication

The beacon doesn't need to be purposefully widened. It is very narrow compared with radio and microwaves, but it will always diverge a little bit due to physics, such that it covers a fairly big area ...
Polar_Bear's user avatar
2 votes

Optic communication: day and night

Partial answer: To some extent optical links can be almost completely immune to sunlight! Temporal The signals are modulated on a "carrier frequency" the baseline rate at which the laser is ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes

How to compute each of these link budget terms?

I have found this publication, maybe it will be helpful. Free-space optical links for space communication networks which is also a chapter from the book “Springer Handbook of Optical Networks” (pp. ...
user176070's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

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

"Why don't current missions already use small masers..." So we have already been using conventional traveling wave tube amplifiers for microwave communications in space. Ka band is around 30 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes

Are direct conversion optical receivers being looked at for future deep-space communication?

Partial, indirect answer to get the ball rollling. This answer to What is stopping Event Horizon Telescope the size of the Earth’s orbit? in Astronomy SE elaborates on the paper cited in the question ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote

Transmit power for low/high wavelength

Photons with a shorter wavelength and a higher frequency have more energy than those with longer wavelength. I am sure if we have low wavelength we will have more power and if we have high wavelength,...
Uwe's user avatar
  • 48.9k
1 vote

What are the reasons for the specific operating wavelengths chosen for laser communication?

As mentioned, in the other answer, cost and availability for 780 and 1064 are important. At the systems level, You also may want to use a cheaper silicon imagining detector to detect your beacon. ...
UVphoton's user avatar
  • 332
1 vote

What are the reasons for the specific operating wavelengths chosen for laser communication?

Beacon wavelength window is 780 to 1064 nm, for data transmission is 1520– 1560 (1600) nm. Could someone explain why beacon signal operates in lower range? I don't have the book handy, but I can ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote

Receiver and transmitter in RF/optic satellite communication: distance vs data rate v2

This is interesting! At first I thought that optical communication always wins because the $\lambda/d$ for a 30 cm diameter telescope at 850 nm is about 350,000 whereas for a 3 meter dish on a deep ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k

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