Multimode optical receivers increasingly deployed for space-to-ground laser communication links

Discovery Semiconductors reports its 10 Gb/s multimode optical receivers increasingly are being used for space-to-ground laser communication links by Tesat Spacecom.

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Image: Balanced optical receivers from Discovery Semincondutors are an integral part of the optical system test bed for laser communication terminals. Courtesy Tesat Spacecom.

Discovery Semiconductors (Ewing, NJ) reports that its multimode optical receivers operating at up to 10 Gb/s are being increasingly used for space-to-ground laser communication links by Tesat Spacecom (Backnang, Germany) as well as by the European Space Agency (ESA).

"Using a multimode optical receiver in conjunction with a self-referencing differential phase shift keying (DPSK) interferometer allows for the collection of photons up to 36 times more than that of a single mode fiber," says Zoran Sodnik, ESA’s Head of Opto-Electronics Section. "The low noise, multimode optical receivers are intended to be used at a data rate of 1.8 Gb/s for ESA’s Geostationary to Ground Station laser communication links.”

Tesat Spacecom uses the balanced optical receivers as reference devices in their system test bed for laser communication terminals (LCTs). The LCTs are working at 1064 nm with a 1.8 Gb/s coherent binary phase-shift keying (BPSK) communication system, and the balanced receivers provide a low noise, high bandwidth standard.

Related article:Sophisticated optical systems extend reach of free-space communications

According to Frank Heine, Tesat Spacecom’s Chief Scientist and Head of LCT Laser System Engineering, “The receivers are used in Tesat’s Transportable Optical Ground Station (T-AOGS), which is currently located in Teneriffe, Spain. The first high-speed laser communication with a geostationary spacecraft [Alphasat] was recently achieved there.”

“We have been working with Tesat and ESA for 12 years on multiple space-related projects and are honored to be part of their team,” commented Abhay Joshi, President and CEO of Discovery Semiconductors.

Source: Discovery Semiconductors

Image. Tesat T-AOGS at the astronomical site in Teneriffe, Spain. Courtesy Tesat Spacecom.

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