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An Optical NanoSat Detection and Ranging System (SADARS). Maurisa Orona Andrew Couch Ed Wilson. Goal of Mission. Create a satellite detection and ranging system (SADARS ) for a fleet of nano satellites . Mission Objectives.

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An Optical NanoSat Detection and Ranging System (SADARS)

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An Optical NanoSat Detection and Ranging System (SADARS)

Maurisa Orona

Andrew Couch

Ed Wilson

Goal of Mission

  • Create a satellite detection and ranging system (SADARS) for a fleet of nano satellites

Mission Objectives

  • Create an optical detection and communication system using LED’s and photo detectors

  • Develop a system of satellite identification and ranging employing video cameras

Nano Satellite Model

Communication and Detection

  • Serial Communications

    • Send out two bytes

    • First byte corresponds to identify the satellite

    • Second byte identifies which side of the satellite is being detected

  • Detectors

    • PIN Photo Diode Detectors

    • Video Camera

Computer Resources

Intel NUC D54250WYK

  •  Intel® Rapid Start Technology

  • 4th generation Intel® Core™ i5-4250U processor

  • Intel® Quick Sync Video for fast video encoding

  • DisplayPort1.2* for driving 4k displays.

  • Four USB 3.0 ports

Overview of Optical Communications

  • Optical communications using LED’s and diode lasers are employed in many situations.

  • Advantages

    • Difficult to intercept optical systems by unauthorized agents

    • Greater amount of information can be communicated that by traditional radio methods

  • Disadvantages

    • Difficult to align the transmitters and receivers

    • Fog, rain and aerosols cause degradation of the signal

Optical Communications Between Satellites

  • Advantages

    • In low earth orbit (LEO) problems with aerosols, rain and fog are minimal

  • Difficulties

    • Aligning the beams between moving satellites

Varied Approaches

  • Optical communication could be established using LEDs, diode lasers or other optical emitters

  • Diode Lasers

    • Produce more energy than LEDs but the beams are highly collimated and therefore difficult to be detected by the optical receivers

  • Other Optical Emitters

    • Other optical transmitters can be employed but generally require higher voltages and currents than LEDs and are still being considered

  • LEDs

    • Optical output is weaker than that of a diode laser, but they can be purchased to emit over a wider solid angle and are therefore easier to detect

LED Placements under Consideration

  • Geometric Pattern


Satellite Ranging Study

Ranging Data

  • 4 Meters

  • 28 Meters


  • Arkansas Space Grant Consortium RID

  • Dr. Adam Huang, PI, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville

  • Dr. Yupo Chan, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

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