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Demonstration of high-rate laser communications from fast airborne platform: flight campaign and results

Moll, Florian and Mitzkus, Wolfgang and Horwath, Joachim and Shrestha, Amita and Brechtelsbauer, Martin and Martin Navajas, Luis and Lozano Souto, Alberto and Diaz Gonzalez, Dionisio (2014) Demonstration of high-rate laser communications from fast airborne platform: flight campaign and results. In: Proceedings of SPIE, 9248, 92480R-1. Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks X, 22.-25. Sep. 2014, Amsterdam, Niederlande. ISBN 9781628413113

[img] PDF (SPIE paper)

Official URL: http://spie.org/Publications/Proceedings/Volume/9248?origin_id=x4325&start_volume_number=9200&end_volume_number=9299


Some current and future airborne payloads like high resolution cameras and radar systems need high channel capacity to transmit their data from air to ground in near real-time. Especially in reconnaissance and surveillance missions, it is important to downlink huge amount of data in very short contact times to a ground station during a flyby. Aeronautical laser communications can supply the necessary high data-rates for this purpose. Within the project DODfast (Demonstration of Optical Data link fast) a laser link from a fast flying platform was demonstrated. The flight platform was a Panavia Tornado with the laser communication terminal installed in an attached avionic demonstrator pod. The air interface was a small glass dome protecting the beam steering assembly. All other elements were integrated in a small box inside the Pod’s fuselage. The receiver station was DLR’s Transportable Optical Ground Station equipped with a free-space receiver front-end. Downlink wavelength for communication and uplink wavelength for beacon laser were chosen from the optical C-band DWDM grid. The test flights were carried out at the end of November 2013 near the Airbus Defence and Space location in Manching, Germany. The campaign successfully demonstrated the maturity and readiness of laser communication with a data-rate of 1.25 Gbit/s for aircraft downlinks. Pointing, acquisition and tracking performance of the airborne terminal and the ground station could be measured at aircraft speed up to 0.7 Mach and video data from an onboard camera has been transmitted. Link distances with stable tracking were up to 79 km and distance with data transmission over 50 km. In this paper, we describe the system architecture, the flight campaign and the results.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/90966/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Demonstration of high-rate laser communications from fast airborne platform: flight campaign and results
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Moll, Florianflorian.moll (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Mitzkus, WolfgangAirbus Defense and SpaceUNSPECIFIED
Horwath, JoachimVialight CommunicationsUNSPECIFIED
Shrestha, Amitaamita.shrestha (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Brechtelsbauer, Martinmartin.brechtelsbauer (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Martin Navajas, LuisVialight CommunicationsUNSPECIFIED
Lozano Souto, AlbertoVialight CommunicationsUNSPECIFIED
Diaz Gonzalez, DionisioVialight CommunicationsUNSPECIFIED
Date:October 2014
Journal or Publication Title:Proceedings of SPIE
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:92480R-1
Keywords:Free-space optical communications, aircraft downlink, flight experiment, long range communications, pointing, acquisition and tracking, field demonstration, transportable optical ground station, project DODfast, KNOCGOP
Event Title:Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks X
Event Location:Amsterdam, Niederlande
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:22.-25. Sep. 2014
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:air traffic management and operations
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AO - Air Traffic Management and Operation
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Communication, Navigation and Surveillance
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Communication and Navigation > Satellite Networks
Deposited By: Moll, Florian
Deposited On:10 Nov 2014 09:54
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 19:48

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