Session

Technical Session II: Communications

SSC13-II-1.pdf (1635 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

The Aerospace Corporation was selected by the NASA Small Spacecraft Technology Program in 2012 to conduct a subsystem flight validation mission to test commercial-of-the-shelf (COTS) components and subsystems that will enable new communications and proximity operations capabilities for CubeSats and other spacecraft. We proposed optical communications using milliradian beam spreads that are compatible with near-term CubeSat pointing capabilities. Our baseline mission will use a ~10-W modulated fiber laser with a 1.4o angular beam-width on a 1.5-U CubeSat (AeroCube-OCSD) and a 30-cm diameter telescope located on Mt. Wilson in southern California to receive optical pulses. We plan on demonstrating the baseline 5-Mbps optical link with a stretch goal of 50-Mbps. We also proposed integrating an automotive anti-collision radar system and an enhanced optical mouse sensor into these CubeSats to enable future proximity operations. In late 2014 or early 2015, two 1.5-U AeroCube-OCSD CubeSats will be ejected from the same P-POD and brought within 200-meters of each other using on-board GPS for position and velocity determination, variable drag for cooperative orbit rephasing, and cold gas thrusters for proximity maneuvering. Each satellite has deployed wings that allow varying the ballistic coefficient by at least a factor of 4 by changing spacecraft orientation with respect to the flight direction. We plan on characterizing the on-orbit performance of the radar and optical flow sensors as a function of distance between AeroCubes and their orientation.

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Aug 12th, 5:00 PM

The NASA Optical Communication and Sensor Demonstration Program

The Aerospace Corporation was selected by the NASA Small Spacecraft Technology Program in 2012 to conduct a subsystem flight validation mission to test commercial-of-the-shelf (COTS) components and subsystems that will enable new communications and proximity operations capabilities for CubeSats and other spacecraft. We proposed optical communications using milliradian beam spreads that are compatible with near-term CubeSat pointing capabilities. Our baseline mission will use a ~10-W modulated fiber laser with a 1.4o angular beam-width on a 1.5-U CubeSat (AeroCube-OCSD) and a 30-cm diameter telescope located on Mt. Wilson in southern California to receive optical pulses. We plan on demonstrating the baseline 5-Mbps optical link with a stretch goal of 50-Mbps. We also proposed integrating an automotive anti-collision radar system and an enhanced optical mouse sensor into these CubeSats to enable future proximity operations. In late 2014 or early 2015, two 1.5-U AeroCube-OCSD CubeSats will be ejected from the same P-POD and brought within 200-meters of each other using on-board GPS for position and velocity determination, variable drag for cooperative orbit rephasing, and cold gas thrusters for proximity maneuvering. Each satellite has deployed wings that allow varying the ballistic coefficient by at least a factor of 4 by changing spacecraft orientation with respect to the flight direction. We plan on characterizing the on-orbit performance of the radar and optical flow sensors as a function of distance between AeroCubes and their orientation.