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A study of an optical lunar surface communications network with high bandwidth direct to earth link

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3 Author(s)
Wilson, K. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Biswas, A. ; Schoolcraft, J.

A lunar surface systems study explores the application of optical communications to support a high bandwidth data link from a lunar relay satellite and from fixed lunar assets. The results show that existing 1-m ground stations could provide more than 99% coverage of the lunar terminal at 100Mb/s data rates from a lunar relay satellite and in excess of 200Mb/s from a fixed terminal on the lunar surface. We have looked at the effects of the lunar regolith and its removal on optical samples. Our results indicate that under repeated dust removal episodes sapphire rather than fused silica would be a more durable material for optical surfaces. Disruption tolerant network protocols can minimize the data loss due to link dropouts. We report on the preliminary results of the DTN protocol implemented over the optical carrier.

Published in:

Space Optical Systems and Applications (ICSOS), 2011 International Conference on

Date of Conference:

11-13 May 2011