High sensitivity inter-satellite optical communications using LEDs and single photon receivers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

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Abstract

High data rate communication links are difficult to perform with radio frequency technology under the strict size, mass and power (SMaP) constraints of small satellites. Transmitting data using the optical spectrum can permit higher data rates with more power efficient systems. Single photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) provide receivers with exceptional sensitivity levels, while light-emitting diodes (LEDs) bonded to electronic driver chips provide digitally controllable optical transmitters capable of high bandwidth spatial and temporal modulation. Data rates of 100 Mb/s have been demonstrated at a sensitivity of -55.2 dBm, and ray-tracing simulations indicate ranges in excess of 1 km are feasible with simple optical systems. Additionally, the divergent nature of LEDs can provide a level of spatial coverage, relaxing pointing and alignment requirements. The low electrical power requirements and compact, semiconductor nature of these devices may therefore bring high data rate, high sensitivity communications to small satellite platforms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSPACOMM 2019
Subtitle of host publicationThe Eleventh International Conference on Advances in Satellite and Space Communications
Place of Publication[Wilmington, DE]
Publisher IARIA
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-61208-694-1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2019
EventThe 11th International Conference of Advances in Satellite and Space Communications - Valencia, Spain
Duration: 24 Mar 201928 Mar 2019
Conference number: 11th

Conference

ConferenceThe 11th International Conference of Advances in Satellite and Space Communications
Abbreviated titleSPACOMM 2019
CountrySpain
CityValencia
Period24/03/1928/03/19

Keywords

  • LED
  • SPAD
  • optical communication
  • simulation
  • ray tracing and modelling

Projects

Research Output

  • 1 Working paper

High-sensitivity free space optical communications using low size, weight and power hardware

Griffiths, A. D., Herrnsdorf, J., Almer, O., Henderson, R. K., Strain, M. J. & Dawson, M. D., 4 Feb 2019, Ithica, N.Y., 7 p.

Research output: Working paper

Open Access
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Cite this

Griffiths, A., Herrnsdorf, J., Strain, M., & Dawson, M. (2019). High sensitivity inter-satellite optical communications using LEDs and single photon receivers. In SPACOMM 2019: The Eleventh International Conference on Advances in Satellite and Space Communications IARIA.