21, September 2018

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO9259
Open Date: 18/09/2018
Closing Date: 30/11/2018 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 18.1TT.21
Prog. Ref.: ScyLight
Budget Ref.: E/0502-01A – ScyLight
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / Optical Communication / Optical Comm. / Optical terminals
Techology Domains: Optics / Optical Equipment and Instrument Technology / Optical Communications
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate Telecom & Integrated Applica
Department: Telecom Technologies,Product&Systems Dep
Division: Technologies and Products Division
Contract Officer: Mezzadri, Monica
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 18/09/2018
Update Reason: Tender issue

The objectives of this study are:1)To investigate end-to-end communications system architectures for next generation optical inter-satellite links (optical ISLs) and to establish the system requirements.2)To perform a preliminary design of the optical terminals for next generation optical ISLs achieving a user data rate of 10 20 Gbit/s.3)To identify the critical subunits of the optical terminals for next generation optical ISLs, define the associated performance requirements, identify technology gaps and establish a technology development roadmap to support next generation inter-satellite links.Targeted Improvements:System and sub-system performance requirements for the next generation of optical inter-satellite links and a development roadmap for the critical enabling technologies.Description:Optical inter-satellite links have recently been demonstrated in orbit, offering a user data rate of 1.8Gbit/s. This data rate is compatible with current user needs (e.g., TanDEM-X requiring ~1 Tbit/day; Sentinel-1 requiring ~10 Tbit/day). However, to support data retrieval and repatriation for future earth observation satellites with increased instrument performance (e.g., spatial resolution, temporal sampling, multispectral/hyperspectral remote sensing, wide field of view), it is forecasted that the user data rate needs to be boosted by at least one order of magnitude (i.e. 10 20 Gbit/s).The number of users to be served(earth observation satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles) is also expected to increase, which will require, in additional to an increase of the user data rate of the optical return service, a reduction of the time required to establish communications (e.g. minimisere-pointing time and link acquisition time) in order to maximise the overall data throughput. This activity aims to establish thesystem and sub-system performance requirements for the next generation of optical inter-satellite links (GEO-LEO, GEO-GEO) and to establish a development roadmap for the critical enabling technologies, taking into account the aspects outlined above and the expectations of commercial end users.

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