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26 April 1999 In-orbit test results of the first SILEX terminal
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The Semi conductor Inter satellite Link EXperiment, SILEX, consists of two terminals, one terminal embarked on the French LEO observation satellite SPOT4 and one terminal embarked on the ESA GEO telecommunication satellite ARTEMIS. The objective of SILEX is first to perform optical communication experiments in orbit and then on an operational basis transmit SPOT4 earth observation data to ARTEMIS, which will relay the data to ground via its Ka band feeder link. SPOT4 with the SILEX terminal was successfully launched on 22nd March 1998. While waiting for the counter terminal on ARTEMIS, a test program has been undertaken to characterize the performances without a counter terminal. The test program involves CCD calibrations, laser diode calibrations, emit/transmit co- alignment calibrations, measurement of point ahead mechanism accuracy, star acquisitions and tracking, sensitivity to sunlight, and characterization of platform/terminal dynamic interaction. The paper reports on test results of the in orbit testing, with comparison to similar ground testing and predictions. The conclusion of the test program is that the first optical communication terminal in orbit is in very good health and that the demonstrated performances are stable and considerably better than the expected.
© (1999) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Toni Tolker-Nielsen, Benoit Demelenne, and Eric Desplats "In-orbit test results of the first SILEX terminal", Proc. SPIE 3615, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XI, (26 April 1999);


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