Design of an optical-communication link with Mars

Research paper by Alberto Carrasco-Casado

Indexed on: 24 May '16Published on: 24 May '16Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics


The possibility of using optical communications in free-space as an improvement of current RF communication systems was analyzed in this Project. The particular case of a link Mars-Earth was studied and a link based in the future NASA's MLCD project, which is currently being developed, was designed. For this, an orbit simulator was programmed, evaluating the transfer orbit, analyzing the losses that occur in the transmission channel, using several atmospheric models, selecting the most adequate elements for the transmitter and the receiver, calculating the Doppler effect during the mission, and performing a budget link for the different orbit positions. From these results, the maximum bitrate through the MLCD mission was evaluated for the different astronomical observatories chosen as optical ground stations.