Concepts for deep-space optical communications
The Satellite Networks department plays since many years a leading role in Europe in the conception and investigation of novel system concepts, transmission techniques, protocols and applications for Satellite Communications.
After the rapid growth of the former Optical Free-Space Communications Group to more than 10 members, in 2011 part of the group was formed into the Advanced Optical Technologies Group (AOT), which deals with the scientific research of future application fields of optical free-space transmission in general.
In the framework of several projects the group is investigating the use of optical technology to be used in deep-space communications. Different scenarios, such as links from the Moon and Mars have been already proposed. Particularities of this type of links impose special constrains in the transmission channel, namely the operation in a photon starved regime and strong limitations on the SWaP (Size, Weight and Power) factor of the spacecraft terminal. The most promising modulation format for such channel is the pulse position modulation (PPM) format, and its variants. It is also relevant to take into account the performance of photon counting receiver for deep-space communications. The work to be performed includes the research and simulation of the communications chain, as well as supporting in a demo measurement camping, with the aim of simulating a direct-to-Earth link from the Moon.
- Literature research on deep-space optical communication theory. Including photon counting technology, and atmospheric turbulence effects for downlinks in direct-to-Earth links
- Design of PPM simulator in Matlab/Simulink
- Laboratory testbed setup
- Support in preparation and analysis of demo measurement campaign
- Degree in Electrical Engineering, or similar
- Proactive and ability to work independently
- English language proficiency. Ability to work reports in English
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