A Compact, Low Power Pulsed Optical Communication System for Spacecraft

Metadata Updated: July 17, 2020

The goal of this project is to reduce the power required for high bandwidth, deep space laser communications systems. Our concept will encode data in the time delay between short pulses of light. This technique, known as Differential Pulse-Position Modulation (DPPM), requires a low average power if the amount of data encoded in each delay is large, because each generated laser pulse then signifies a large number of bits. We will use a high precision clock to divide time into very small intervals (~ 0.1 nanoseconds), which will allow us to maintain high data rates (10-100 Mbits/second). We will demonstrate this technique in the lab and package it into a miniature optical communications instrument, designed for small spacecraft or any spacecraft where the mass and power are very constrained. The DPPM modulation scheme will be driven by a low power, space grade FPGA-based modem with time provided by a chip-scale atomic clock. The FPGA modulator will drive a pulsed laser system in a Master Oscillator Power Fiber Amplifier configuration that will emit energetic pulses of 1550 nm laser light. The instrument will be designed from the ground up to be adaptable to a wide range of communications and power requirements and efficient so that it can be demonstrated in space on a low-cost nanosatellite in the future.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date July 17, 2020

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date July 17, 2020
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Unique Identifier TECHPORT_91511
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
Metadata Context https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema/catalog.jsonld
Metadata Catalog ID https://data.nasa.gov/data.json
Schema Version https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema
Catalog Describedby https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema/catalog.json
Harvest Object Id 76fb3dd5-10dc-4a99-ace2-eecd28ab6844
Harvest Source Id 39e4ad2a-47ca-4507-8258-852babd0fd99
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Data First Published 2017-09-01
Homepage URL https://techport.nasa.gov/view/91511
Data Last Modified 2020-01-29
Program Code 026:027
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash c09c034bc4a00769856ef6920dcfdeb2ff0edb16
Source Schema Version 1.1

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