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Browse Prior Art Database

OPTICAL INTERSATELLITE LINK SAFETY HAT

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000009853D
Original Publication Date: 2000-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Sep-24
Document File: 2 page(s) / 109K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

John (Jack) Farrell: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Optical systems are normally assembled, tested and operated in very special, developmentallaboratory like facilities that protect personnel with a combination of very strict physical access to the operating equipment and procedural controls. The Optical Intersatellite Link Safety Hat is designed to mitigate these costs and operational constraints.

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MOTOROLA

Technical Developments

OPTICAL INTERSATELLITE LINK SAFETY HAT

by John (Jack) Farrell, Michael Monteilh and Patty King

INTRODUCTION

Optical Intersatellite Links require enough power to communicate over tong range distances, and to do so with a very low bit error rate. These power levels present a danger to assembly/test per~ sonnel on the ground during manufacturing. In addition, the optimal laser wavelength that allows laser tracking with the sun or moon in the terminal's field of view is outside the human visible spectrum.

The Optical Intersatellite Link Safety Hat is designed to protect humans working in proximity of the terminal. It also dramatically reduces expensive facilitization and tooling required with lasers operating in free space, while facilitating system testing.

DESCRIPTION

Optical systems are normally assembled, tested and operated in very special, developmentallaboratory like facilities that protect personnel with a combination of very strict physical access to the operating equipment and procedural controls. The Optical Intersatellite Link Safety Hat is designed to mitigate these costs and operational constraints.

The hat is a lightweight cover that fits over, and is attached to, the optical terminal without impeding physical movement that the terminal requires to perfonn pointing and acquisition testing. It is intended to be used during ground testing in a satellite production facility that does not require the expensive laboratory type modifications implemented specillcally for personnel safety and physical access.

The hat also serves as a dust cover so that the terminal does not have to be handled in clean room conditions.

The hat will be removed at the launch site during the final stages of satellite launch preparation.

Motorola. Inc. 2000

The internal surface of the hat has a small reflector mounted such that it reflects a small portion of the transmitted beam back into the optical receiver. This will safely reflect a highly attenuated portion of the optical beam back into the optical terminal without overdriving the receiver. This provides an "opticalloopback" test capability to verify the terminal functionality and to facilitate integrated system level testing that requires optical tenninal operations.

The interior surface of the hat is also coated with a thennally stable optical material with the proper reflectivity constant, modal dispersion and material dispersion properties to allow a very low power portion of the optical beam to pass through the hat.

The power level is well below personnel safety limits, but is above t...