With growth in data volume from space missions, interest in laser communications has increased, owing to their importance for high-speed data transfer in the commercial and defense fields, spaceborne remote sensing, and surveillance. Here, we propose a novel system for space-to-space laser communication, a very high-speed inter-satellite link system using an infrared optical terminal and nanosatellite (VISION), which is aimed at establishing and validating miniaturized laser crosslink systems and several space technologies using two 6U nanosatellites in formation flying. An optical link budget analysis is conducted to derive the signal-to-noise ratio requirements and allocate the system budget; the optical link margin should be greater than 10 dB to guarantee communication with practical limitations. The payload is a laser transceiver with a deployable space telescope to enhance the gain of the beam transmission and reception. Nanosatellites, including precise formation flying GNC systems, are designed and analyzed. The attitude control system ensures pointing and tracking errors within tens of arcsec, and they are equipped with a propulsion system that can change the inter-satellite distance rapidly and accurately. This novel concept of laser crosslink systems is expected to make a significant contribution to the future design and construction of high-speed space-to-space networks.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aerospace Engineering