Optical Crosslinks for Broadband Satellite Networks
This paper describes the use of optical communication technology in the proposed new satellite network configurations. In all of these application scenarios high data rate optical crosslinks to interconnect the satellites of the satellite network can significantly improve the performance of the system.
The paper starts with a brief overview on the different satellite network layouts. Based on these application scenarios performance requirements for optical crosslink terminals (lasercomm-terminals) are derived. After that a brief introduction to the functionality and the key building blocks of a lasercomm terminal is given. The paper concludes with an overview on how to use the terminals of the Contraves Space lasercomm terminal product family for the different applications.
One can say that the performance of the upcoming satellite networks will strongly depend on the performance of the data crosslinks to other satellites in the network or to other satellite networks. The choice of the right optical crosslink technology will be a key factor for the quality of services the satellite network can provide to the user and eventually it will be a key factor for the system’s commercial success.
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