Laser Communications

Quartus has designed and built ground and space-based laser communication terminals, including: gimble mechanics for tracking and pointing; atmospheric modeling and implementation of fast steering mirrors and adaptive optics; telescopes; and optical heads.

CAPABILITIES

GROUND AND SPACE TERMINALS

Complete Station Development

  • Telescopes, uplink & downlink channels

  • Mount model, controls, and automation

  • Adaptive optic solutions

LEO Optical Head Development

  • Optical and opto-mechanics

  • Beam expansion telescopes

  • Space rated athermalized fiber collimator

  • Assembly, integration, and test

Link Budget

  • Pointing requirements  

  • WFE requirements  

  • Jitter requirements  

  • Impacts from atmosphere  

Space Mechanisms Design

  • Coarse pointing assemblies

  • Launch / lock mechanisms

  • Custom gimbal designs

SAGE IV 6
phase screen.png

Example of a phase screen cross section of the atmosphere used to model atmospheric transmission

Irradiance

Snapshots of beam the irradiance profile propagating from the satellite to ground receiver through atmosphere

CASE STUDY
Atmospheric Propagation Modeling
Quartus has delivered and commissioned a complete ground terminal and low earth orbit optical head for free space laser communication.

Quartus was heavily involved in requirements definition and systems engineering, including the optical link budget.

In order to determine if atmospheric effects could be sufficiently corrected by incorporated adaptive optics, Quartus performed atmospheric modeling using internally developed wave propagation tools, MODTRAN, and HELEEOS.

Point Spread

Snapshots of the laser point spread function on the focal plane array over time