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About These Blogs: The JPL Science & Technology Blogs are a way for our researchers and technical staff to give first-hand accounts of the activities that are going on at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A cross-section of our staff contribute posts about the tasks they are currently involved in for NASA and JPL. These blog posts are meant to discuss technical topics. Selected comments that are on-topic are published and are moderated.

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Topic: Exploration & Observational Systems: Deep Space Communications
09.18.2009 12:27 PM
Tom Roberts

By Tom Roberts
Optical Communications

We've been developing a design for a deep-space optical transceiver for flight in the second half of the next decade. We're concentrating on an off-axis Gregorian fore-telescope, primarily for reduced optical scattering characteristics. Such a design eliminates the problems associated with the obscuration of the telescope pupil associated with an central obscuring secondary mirror.

For most telescope systems, an on-axis secondary is not much of a problem: it only obscures about 10% or less ...Read More on 'Optical Communications'

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07.08.2009 11:31 AM
Tom Roberts

By Tom Roberts
Optical Communications

It's 1:56 AM. We've been going since 8:00 AM - I guess technically that's yesterday now. In just under an hour, the Japanese OICETS optical communications satellite will rise above the horizon, and our 1-meter optical communications research telescope (OCTL) will slew across the sky to point at the satellite. It will then track the satellite as it rises and passes overhead. Once the satellite rises above the local tree line (about 20 degrees in elevation) we'll turn on our laser beacon, which ...Read More on 'Optical Communications'

Continue reading this entryRead More on 'Optical Communications'
Author Bios

Erik Bailey
Guidance and Control Systems Engineering
Julie Castillo
Planetary Ices
Parker Fagrelius
Astronomy and Physics Missions Concepts
Chuck Manning
Microdevices Laboratory
Jeff Norris
Supervisor, Planning Software Systems Group
Tom Roberts
Optical Communications
Ruwan Somawardhana
Spacecraft Thermal Engineering

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