KECK INSTITUTE FOR SPACE STUDIES

       

Optical Communication on SmallSats: Enabling the Next Era in Space Science - Part 2

February 7 - 9, 2017
California Institute of Technology - Pasadena, CA 91125

Richard Murray

Abhijit Biswas

JPL

Mitch Ingham

Renny Fields

The Aerospace Corporation

John Day

Brian Grefenstette

Caltech

Brian Williams

Fiona Harrison

Caltech

Leonard J. Reder

Suzana Sburlan

Amazon

Workshop Overview:

In the first workshop of the study Optical Communications for SmallSats – Enabling the Next Era in Space Science, we reviewed the past achievements at NASA, the European Space Agency, and Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communication Technology to demonstrate the functionality of laser communication instruments on satellites.  We studied several cubesat science missions that have or will consider optical communication as their telecom. solution, as well as current commercial ventures that would benefit from increased data rate capability.   We then focused on developing three lasercomm. subsystems designed for different ranges and applications – namely near-Earth and deep space to ground connections, as well as crosslinks on small satellites. We also analyzed the outstanding technical, organizational, and financial hurdles that must be addressed to enable this technology to come into widespread use.

In this second workshop, we will dive deeper into the current challenges, in order to craft recommendations for further investment from our sponsors and key stakeholders.  We will seek to define a roadmap whereby cost savings can be achieved in future programs through standardization, collaborative efforts, and leveraging of existing unused ground infrastructure.  We will continue to develop our subsystem designs in the three different regimes, building up a depiction of the high volume operational scenarios that would result from the adoption of optical communication on a variety of cubesats and smallsat spacecraft. Our findings, captured in the final report, will inform and guide strategic decisions in the implementation and maturation of optical communication subsystems that will enhance the quality of scientific observation from space, and reduce the mass and power utilization required for communication.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Think Tank, Room 155 - Keck Center, Caltech

Optical Communication on SmallSats: Enabling the Next Era in Space Science, Part II

Time
Event
Speaker

7:30 - 8:00

Registration is open for early birds, free think time

8:00 - 8:30

Coffee and Refreshments are served

8:30 - 9:15

Logistics / Introductions

Michele Judd

Team Leads

9:15 - 9:45

Overview of the last study: LEO to Ground

Team Leads

9:45 - 10:15

Overview of the last study: Deep Space to Ground

Team Leads

10:15 - 10:45

Break

10:45 - 11:15

Overview of the last study: Interconnects

Team Leads

11:15 - 11:45

Group Discussion: Study and Vision Goals for this Workshop

ALL

11:45 - 12:30

Target Audience for the Final Report ALL
12:30 - 2:00 Lunch at the Athenaeum
2:00 - 3:00 Finalize study vision and workshop goals via plenary discussion ALL
3:00 - 3:30 Solicitation of Lightning Talks Team Leads
3:30 - 4:00 Break
4:00 - 4:30 State of the Art: LaserCom Systems Engineering and Challenges Emily Clements
4:30 - 5:00 State of the Art: MinXSS CubeSat Performance (Attitude and Downlink) Amir Caspi
5:00 - 5:30 State of the Art: LaserCom Ground Segment State of the Art Darren Rowen / Mike Krainak
5:30 - 6:00 Pack up and walk to the Athenaeum ALL
6:00 Dinner at Athenaeum Rathskeller (downstairs)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Keck Center - Think Tank, Room 155

Time
Event
Speaker

7:30 - 8:00

Institute is open for early birds, free think time

8:00 - 8:30

Coffee and Refreshments are served

8:30 - 8:45

Logistics

Michele Judd

8:45 - 9:00

Day 2 Workshop Objectives and Goals - Introduction of Special Topics Areas (ABC, DEF, XYZ etc.)

Team Leads

9:00 - 9:30

NASA-funded Integrated Photonics

John Klamkin

9:30 - 10:15

Lightning talks (3)

TBD by participants

10:15 - 10:45

Break

10:45 - 11:15

Selection of Breakout Groups and Topics

ALL
11:15 - 12:30 Breakout Groups Meet Groups

12:30 - 2:00

Lunch at the Athenaeum

2:00 - 2:45

Report outs from breakout groups (15 mins each)

Groups

2:45 - 3:30

Lightning talks (3) - Emphasis on aspirational projects

TBD

3:30 - 4:00

Break

4:00 - 4:15

Selection of Breakout Groups and Topics for next day

ALL

4:15 - 5:30

Breakout Groups Meet

Groups

5:30 - 6:00 Pack up and walk to the Athenaeum ALL

6:00 - 7:30

Prime Rib Buffet at Athenauem, spouses and significant others invited


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Keck Center - Think Tank, Room 155

Time
Event
Speaker
7:30 - 8:00 Institute is open for early birds, free think time

8:00 - 8:30

Coffee and Refreshments are served

8:30 - 8:45

Logistics

Michele Judd

8:45 - 9:00

Progress Update: Goals for Day 3 (what success looks like at the end of this workshop)

Team Leads

9:00 - 10:15

Breakout Groups

ALL

10:15 - 10:45

Break

10:45 - 12:15

Breakout Groups

ALL

12:15 - 2:00

Group Photograph, Informal Lunch at the Institute, free time

2:00 - 3:30

Open Discussion of Breakout Group Recommendations and Group Feedback

ALL

3:30 - 4:00

Break

4:00 - 4:45

Final study activities and final report assignments - Group Discussion

ALL

4:45 - 5:00

Workshop Closeout

Michele Judd

5:00

Workshop Concludes

Workshop Participants:

  • Krisjani Angkasa – JPL
  • Alessandra Babuscia – JPL
  • Abhijit Biswas – JPL
  • Alberto Carrasco-Casado – National Institute of Information and Communications Technology
  • Amir Caspi – Southwest Research Institute
  • Emily Clements – MIT
  • Sam Dolinar – JPL
  • Renny Fields – The Aerospace Corporation
  • Peter Goorjian – NASA Ames Research Center
  • Varoujan Gorjian – JPL
  • Brian Grefenstette – Caltech
  • Brian Gunter – Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Frank Heine – Tesat Spacecom
  • Farzana Khatri – MIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • Jonathan Klamkin – UC Santa Barbara
  • David Klumpar – Montana State University 
  • Michael Krainak – NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Dhack Muthulingam – JPL
  • Michael Peng – JPL
  • Sean Pike - Caltech
  • Darren Rowen – The Aerospace Corp.
  • Suzana  Sburlan – Amazon
  • Harlan Spence – University of New Hampshire 
  • Mark Storm – Fibertek Inc.
  • Jan Stupl - SGT / NASA Ames Research Center
  • Morio Toyoshima - National Institute of Information and Communications Technology
  • Jose Velazco – JPL
  • Hua Xie – JPL

Lodging for out-of-town attendees

There are a number of hotels (4 pages pdf, 143KB) that are close to the Caltech campus where we have a negotiated rate. (Please note that this negotiated rate does not guarantee you the lowest rate as there may be internet specials or AAA rates that may be better.)

Please note that with enough notice, you can reserve rooms for attendees at the Athenaeum, which has been recognized as a Platinum Club of America. Newly refurbished, it is conveniently located on the Caltech Campus. Contact Janet Seid if you would like to check the availability of this option.


Visa Requirements

For Visa requirement information and travel to the United States please visit the website of the U.S. Department of State.


Parking (for Visitors and for JPL Personnel)

For Visitors: From the Arroyo Parkway, turn right (east) on Del Mar Avenue. Proceed approximately one and a quarter miles. The Caltech campus will be on your right. Turn right (south) onto Michigan Avenue. Turn right into the outdoor parking lot and park in an unmarked spot. Buy a parking permit from the kiosks near the middle of the lot or request one ahead of time from KISS.

For JPL Personnel: JPLers may use their JPL hang tag for parking or request a special parking hangtag from the JPL parking office. Employees who do not have on-Lab parking privileges can obtain a hang tag created for this purpose from JPL parking coordinator Robert Kennedy (818-354-4586, Building 310-108B, 9/80 schedule). Please park in the outdoor parking lot located on Michigan Avenue in an unmarked spot.


Maps and General Information on Pasadena

Directions and Maps

Workshop Presentations

Amir Caspi
Southwest Research Institute
State of the Art: MinXSS CubeSat Performance … and CubIXSS future needs
(27.2 MB .pdf)
Emily Clements
MIT
State of the Art: Lasercom Systems Engineering and Challenges
(8.9 MB .pdf)
Frank Heine
Tesat Spacecom
TESAT Lasercom Status
(1.8 MB .pdf)
Jan Stupl
JPL
Modulating Retro-Reflector Cubesat Payload
(1.4 MB .pdf)