Publications and Research

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Working Paper

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The Integrated Radio Optical Communication System (iROC) is designed to transmit data between Mars and Earth by means of radio waves at 32.67 GHz (Ka band) and laser beam (LB) at 1550 nm, both transmitted via a combined telescope/antenna called a teletenna. The iROC terminal will provide “beaconless” operations to allow full function from the outer planets. In order to point without the aid of an uplink beacon, the proof of concept presented here is addressing the need for an accurate determination and control of the relative position of the LB with respect to a reference star.

The experiment presented simulates a surrogate transmission telescope system in a laboratory setting and presents the model used in the correction of the outgoing beam. The results of the model show a nonlinear dependence between the outgoing and the reference beam, indicating the necessity of a minimum of two metrology instruments placed along the optical system for increased pointing precision.


This work was funded by the NASA Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Program and the 2017 NASA Glenn Faculty Fellowship Program.



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