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NASA's Next Generation ≥100 Gbps Optical Communications RelayNASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program is creating an operational optical communications network to complement its current radio frequency (RF) networks. NASA is currently planning for a new optical communications relay node in geostationary (GEO) orbit to be commissioned in 2025, developed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), as evolved from Goddard’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) GEO relay payload that will launch in 2019. The Next Generation optical relay node will serve as an initial element in a larger optical networking constellation that will consist of Government and commercial, and international relays. NASA’s nodes will aggregate traffic at data rates of up to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) from users on the Earth’s surface and up through suborbital, LEO, MEO, GEO, cislunar and even out to Earth-Sun Lagrange (1.25 Mkm) distances. Users that require low-latency will be serviced with an onboard complementary Ka-band downlink service. The next generation network will deploy ≥ 100 Gbps space-to-ground links and also optical crosslinks between nodes to allow for user traffic backhaul to minimize ground station location constraints.

Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Park, Elizabeth A. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Cornwell, Donald (NASA Headquarters Washington, DC, United States)
Israel, David (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2019
Publication Date
March 4, 2019
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
IEEE Aerospace Conference(Big Sky, MT)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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NameType 20190030264.pdf STI