Performance characterization of a multiplexed space-to-ground optical network
Author(s)Sanchez Net, Marc; Del Portillo Barrios, Inigo; Cameron, Bruce Gregory; Crawley, Edward F
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Advances in phased array systems for multi-beam free space optical communications are a key enabler for a new space-to-ground network architecture, namely a multiplexed optical architecture. The fundamental idea of a multiplexed space-to-ground optical network is the utilization of a multi-beam optical payload that allows each spacecraft to establish links with multiple ground stations within its line of sight. Information is then downlinked in parallel, from the satellite to the ground, through the subset of links not disrupted by clouds. In this paper we evaluate the performance of a multiplexed optical space-to-ground architecture from a systems perspective, with particular emphasis on the effect of cloud correlation in the network throughput. In particular, we first derive the expected data volume returned in a multiplexed architecture as a function of the optical network availability and the system total capacity. Then, we compare the performance of the proposed multiplexed architecture against a traditional single-beam downlink system that utilizes site diversity to mitigate cloud coverage effects. This comparison is based on two canonical scenarios, a global highly uncorrelated network representative of a geosynchronous satellite; and local, highly correlated, network representative of a low Earth orbit spacecraft. Through this analysis, we demonstrate that multiplexed architectures can improve the throughput of a space-to-ground optical network as compared to that of a single ground telescope without requiring a beam switching mechanism.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; System Design and Management Program
2017 IEEE Aerospace Conference
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Net, Marc Sanchez, et al. "Performance Characterization of a Multiplexed Space-to-Ground Optical Network." 2017 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 4-11 March, 2017, Big Sky, Montana, IEEE, 2017, pp. 1–11.
Author's final manuscript