Existing technologies for platform isolation and pointing of deep-space optical communications terminals are sensitive to radiation and rely on sensors that either exceed size/mass/power constraints or are no longer in commercial production. Phase 1 addresses these issues by extending existing design architectures to add robustness to component failure and investigate combinations of and modifications to Commercial Off the Shelf acceleration and angular rate sensors that can meet performance, environment, and size/mass/power constraints. Component testing of sensors will advance the design concept to TRL-3 and establish proof of concept feasibility.
Planetary mission communication using optical relays back to Earth. Deep-space exploration. The design is scalable to a wide range of deep-space missions; from small solar-system probes, to human Moon and Mars missions.
Primary Technology Taxonomy: TX 05.1 Optical Communications.
Commercial Moon and Mars missions that require high bandwidth communications back to Earth. Free-space optical communication in Earth orbit for satellite-to-satellite communication and communication from orbit to ground.