ESA Intended Invitation To Tender


Program ref.: ScyLight
Tender Type: C
Quarter: 181
Tender Status: INTENDED
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Budget Ref.: E/0502-01A - ScyLight
Proc. Prop.: DIPC
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate Telecom & Integrated Applica
Department: Telecom Technologies,Product&Systems Dep
Division: Technologies and Products Division
Responsible: Schmitt, Dietmar
Products: Satellites & Probes / Optical Communication / Optical Comm. / Optical terminals
Technology Domains: Optics / Optical Equipment and Instrument Technology / Optical Communications
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A - Not apply
Publication Date: 16-FEB-18

(*) Priority 2 Objectives of the Activity: In order to better understand requirements coming from outside of the satellite communications community, and to prepare industry for such applications, the objectives of this study are: 1)To investigate the end-to-end communications system architecture for long distance communications or scientific missions, including the Moon village, and to assess the system requirements. 2)To perform a preliminary design of the optical terminals required to support communications, based on established requirements at the overall optical terminal level. 3)To identify the critical subunits of the optical terminals and to define the associated performance requirements. 4)To perform a technology survey and derive the technology roadmap for the critical technologies (e.g., optical/optoelectronic). Targeted Improvements: System and sub-system performance requirements for cientific missions or in general long distance communications and a development roadmap for the critical enabling technologies. Description: The feasibility of optical communications between the Moon and the Earth was demonstrated in 2013 with the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD ) payload on board the Lunar Atmosphere Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE). The LLCD ground and space terminals (respectively called LLGT and LLST) were developed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory and implemented a bidirectional communications link with 20 Mbit/s uplink and 622 Mbit/s downlink data rates. The EDRS system provides optical return services at 600 Mbit/s (Sentinelmode) and at 1800 Mbit/s (advanced mode) from low earth orbit satellites via GEO to ground. However, the laser communications technology implemented in the EDRS laser communication terminal cannot be easily extended to provide optical communication links between the Earth and the Moon (or beyond). In this activity optical technologies and techniques suitable for deep space communications areto be considered, like those employed in the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration, or those investigated under ESA contracts (e.g., DOLCE optical link demonstrator for end-to-end deep space communications in 2007; OCTAL optical communications transceiver for fade tolerant data relay links in 2012), which are compatible with data return data rates greater than about 100 Mbit/s. (*) Invitations to tender for activities designated Priority 2 will only be initiated on the explicit request of at least one delegation.