NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Experimental Evaluation of the "Polished Panel Optical Receiver" Concept on the Deep Space Network's 34 Meter AntennaThe potential development of large aperture ground-based "photon bucket" optical receivers for deep space communications has received considerable attention recently. One approach currently under investigation proposes to polish the aluminum reflector panels of 34-meter microwave antennas to high reflectance, and accept the relatively large spotsize generated by even state-of-the-art polished aluminum panels. Here we describe the experimental effort currently underway at the Deep Space Network (DSN) Goldstone Communications Complex in California, to test and verify these concepts in a realistic operational environment. A custom designed aluminum panel has been mounted on the 34 meter research antenna at Deep-Space Station 13 (DSS-13), and a remotely controlled CCD camera with a large CCD sensor in a weather-proof container has been installed next to the subreflector, pointed directly at the custom polished panel. Using the planet Jupiter as the optical point-source, the point-spread function (PSF) generated by the polished panel has been characterized, the array data processed to determine the center of the intensity distribution, and expected communications performance of the proposed polished panel optical receiver has been evaluated.
Document ID
Document Type
External Source(s)
Vilnrotter, Victor A.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2013
Publication Date
March 7, 2012
Subject Category
Communications And Radar
Meeting Information
IEEE Aerospace Conference(Big Sky, MT)
Distribution Limits
photon counting detection
centroid algorithm
photon bucket optical receive

Available Downloads

There are no available downloads for this record.
No Preview Available