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Particle-induced bit errors in high performance fiber optic data links for satellite data management

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4 Author(s)
P. W. Marshall ; Naval Res. Lab., Washington, DC, USA ; C. J. Dale ; M. A. Carts ; K. A. LaBel

Experimental test methods and analysis tools are demonstrated to assess particle-induced bit errors on fiber optic link receivers for satellites. Susceptibility to direct ionization from low LET particles is quantified by analyzing proton and helium ion data as a function of particle LET. Existing single event analysis approaches are shown to apply, with appropriate modifications, to the regime of temporally (rather than spatially) distributed bits, even though the sensitivity to single events exceeds conventional memory technologies by orders of magnitude. The cross-section LET dependence follows a Weibull distribution at data rates from 200 to 1000 Mbps and at various incident optical power levels. The LET threshold for errors is shown, through both experiment and modeling, to be 0 in all cases! The error cross-section exhibits a strong inverse dependence on received optical power in the LET range where most orbital single events would occur, thus indicating that errors can be minimized by operating links with higher incident optical power. Also, an analytic model is described which incorporates the appropriate physical characteristics of the link as well as the optical and receiver electrical characteristics. Results indicate appropriate steps to assure suitable link performance even in severe particle orbits.<>

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 6 )