Optical Communication and Navigation for Spacecraft Docking using Modulating Retroreflectors
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
An optical communications link is used to transmit important navigation and range information between two spacecraft platforms to aid in the spacecraft docking process. This experiment uses NRLs multiple quantum well modulating retroreflector MRR array as the light payload optical communications transmitter on the target spacecraft. Spacecraft navigation information is determined by using the MRR array to impose five distinct modulation frequencies on the optical transmit beam, and analyzing the received signal on the pursuer spacecraft to extract target attitude and range information. Design, architecture, and status of the experiment at NRL are discussed.