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Product Code: ILSC2009_C102

Laser Uplink Safety for Future NASA High-bandwidth Spacecraft Communications
Authors:
Keith Wilson, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Pasadena CA USA
Presented at ILSC 2009

JPL has been continually developing optical communications technologies to support future highbandwidth communications from NASAs deep space probes. Optical communications at ranges out to Jupiter will use a laser uplink that will serve as both an uplink command link and a beacon to identify the location of the downlink receiver. Uplink laser beams are at near-infrared wavelengths, and the command data rates are megabits/sec with laser beam powers of kilowatts to mitigate the beam spreading effects of the atmosphere. This paper describes current operations at the Optical Communications Telescope Laboratory and plans for safe laser beam propagation
through the atmosphere.

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