Satellite laser communication hardware design that supports space-based optical communications, and successful hardware demonstrations, are presented for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) terminals. For inter-satellite links (ISL), the design of an optical module has been optimized to support satellite-to-satellite relays. Providing optical line-of-sight (LOS) stabilization, the Optical Bench Assembly (OBA) is the modular component that includes the LOS jitter rejection control loop system, which stabilizes the transmit (Tx) and receive (Rx) data channels. The jitter rejection system design of the OBA is described. The demonstrated performance is reported for the nested control loop rejecting the host platform’s on-orbit vibration profile.
The backend optical assembly module for a space-based, laser communication terminal is presented. The backend optical assembly utilizes voice coil-fast steering mirror technology embedded into a control loop that both provides terminal-level pointing capability, and maintains receive channel fiber coupling. The fast steering mirror technology presents a technical solution for operating within the space environment, while simultaneously meeting the bandwidth requirements for characteristic satellite vibration profiles. The system’s architecture design meets the demands of onplatform, jitter-rejection performance to establish and maintain a communication link.