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Study of Lateral Misalignment Tolerance of a Symmetric Free-Space Optical Link for Intra International Space Station CommunicationThis paper describes the study of lateral misalignment tolerance of a symmetric high-rate free-space optical link (FSOL) for use between International Space Station (ISS) payload sites and the main cabin. The link will enable gigabit per second (Gbps) transmission of data, which is up to three orders of magnitude greater than the current capabilities. This application includes 10-20 meter links and requires minimum size, weight, and power (SWaP). The optical power must not present an eye hazard and must be easily integrated into the existing ISS infrastructure. On the ISS, rapid thermal changes and astronaut movement will cause flexure of the structure which will potentially misalign the free space transmit and receive optics 9 cm laterally and 0.2 degrees angularly. If this misalignment is not accounted for, a loss of the link or degradation of link performance will occur. Power measurements were collected to better understand the effect of various system design parameters on lateral misalignment. Parameters that were varied include: the type of small form pluggable (SFP) transceivers, type of fiber, and transmitted power level. A potential solution was identified that can reach the lateral misalignment tolerance (decenter span) required to create an FSOL on the ISS by using 105 m core fibers, a duplex SFP, two channels of light, and two fiber amplifiers.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Tedder, Sarah A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Schoenholz, Bryan
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Suddath, Shannon N.
(Tulsa Univ. OK, United States)
Date Acquired
February 3, 2017
Publication Date
October 18, 2016
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command And Tracking
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
AIAA International Communications Satellite Systems Conference(Cleveland, OH)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 405034.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
free space
lateral misalignment
optical communications
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