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The objective of this activity is to develop, manufacture and test an Engineering Model of a Photonic Lantern Receiver, reducing the complexity of the receiver for optical communication terminals by eliminating the complex pointing and tracking system (tip-tilt mirror) that is otherwise needed to efficiently collect the light onto a fast photodetector.
Targeted Improvements: Enabling technology development not existing today in Europe, which will allow the complexity to be reduced by an order of magnitude without compromising performance.
Current optical communication terminals require tip/tilt tracking mechanisms to suppress image motion and to keep the optical beam on the detector, which has a very small diameter typically in the order of 50 micron. For data rates of around 1 Gbps, image motion cannot be compensated without a suitable tip/tilt tracking mechanism. A solution to this issue would be to use a photonic lantern. This demultiplexes light from a large core multi-mode fibre (MMF) into multiple single-mode fibres (SMF). The diameter of the MMF is large enough to cover image motion as well as spreading of the incoming light, thus a tip/tilt tracking mechanism is no longer required. The insertion loss of the photonic lantern would need to be very low and the SMFs would be each connected to data detectors.In this activity, an Engineering Model of a Photonic Lantern Receiver will be developed, manufactured and tested, including a demonstration that a tip/tilt mechanism is no longer necessary.
footnote: On Delegation Request (formerly called Priority 2) activities will only be initiated on the explicit request of at least one National Delegation.Procurement Policy: C(1) = Activity restricted to non-prime contractors (incl. SMEs). For additional information please go to EMITS news "Industrial Policy measures for non-primes, SMEs and RD entities in ESA programmes".