31, August 2020

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO10446
Open Date: 10/08/2020
Closing Date: 06/11/2020 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 20.1TI.05
Prog. Ref.: OP-Other Act. CC
Budget Ref.: E/0534-05A – OP-Other Act. CC
Tender Type: C
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / Optical Communication / Optical Comm ¿ BB / Tracking, (fine) Pointing and Stabilization mechanisms
Technology Domains: Optoelectronics / Detector Technologies / Focal Plane Technologies
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate Telecom & Integrated Applica
Department: Telecom Technologies,Product&Systems Dep
Division: Institutional and European Programme Off
Contract Officer: Dorval, Nathalie
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 10/08/2020
Update Reason: Tender issue

Objective: To develop a combined coarse and fine optical beam steering system for optical communication terminals, based on a high resolution spatial light modulator. The system shall be demonstrated in a ground based test environment connecting multiple (>2) partner terminals. Targeted Improvements: 100 times reduced target acquisition time combined with inertia-free beam scanning. Description: A high resolution spatial light modulator is used to add coarse and fine optical beam steering capabilities to an optical communication terminal. A spatial light modulator consists of an array of a large number (e.g. Thorlabs 1920 x 1200) phase shifting elements (size e.g. 8 micrometres) and if implemented into an optical communication terminal beam steering is performed as a phased array.With a wavelength of 1550 nm and an aperture diameter of 10 mm the beam coarse pointing angular range becomes 27 degrees. Using thespatial light modulator in an internal pupil the aperture diameter can be increased. The response time of a spatial light modulator(for instance manufactured by the company Thorlabs) is 17 milliseconds, which is 1000 times faster than a standard coarse pointing mechanism. The activity will investigate the possibility to tile spatial light modulators to generate larger apertures and to reducethe pixel size to increase the angular range. Spatial light modulators are temperature and radiation sensitive and appropriate mitigation measures (e.g. heating, shielding) will be investigated. A spatial light modulator shall be developed that provides a scan range of 60 degrees.

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