LEO / GEO OPTICAL SWITCH MATRIX 25X25 (ARTES 4.0 SPL OPTICAL COMMUNICATION - SCYLIGHT 5F.022)

Description

Objective: The objective is to develop a large input/output port-count (>25x25) reconfigurable optical switch matrix and its associated driving control electronics compatible with LEO and GEO environment. The LEO and GEO equipment shall be subjected to environmental testing, including launch effects and representative LEO and GEO environmental conditions (e.g., vacuum, thermal cycling, radiation). Targeted Improvements:Enabling technology for a reconfigurable transparent photonic payload (no need for electrical conversion)Description: Optical switches are capable of routing optical signals in the optical domain, without the need of intermediate optical-to-electrical or electrical-to-optical conversions. Optical switches allow for flexible distribution of optical signals (e.g.,circuit switching) and reconfiguration capabilities (e.g., switching between nominal and redundant photonic equipment) in terrestrial lightwave systems. Optical switches are a key technology for traffic routing in terrestrial high-capacity optical transport networks (i.e., optical cross-connect or an optical add and drop multiplexer). The present market situation is clearly dominated by USAfibre components manufacturers and suppliers. However, developments are ongoing in ESA's Member States to develop large port-count optical switch matrices based on different optical technologies (e.g., MOEMS, piezo actuated lenses, electro-optical switches, etc.). Optical switching is an enabling technology for microwave photonic payloads and for implementing an optical transport network in space. Optical switching technologies may offer advantages with respect to microwave/electronic switching counterparts, such as compactness, low mass and power consumption, transparency to incoming electrical signal format and data rates / bandwidth (broadband operation), low insertion losses and low crosstalk. In particular, given the payload accommodation constrains on LEO platforms, featureslike compactness, low mass and power consumption become the main design drivers. In addition, the design of a LEO optical switch and the associated AIT approach needs to take into account targeted costs and production time.This activity shall develop a large input/output port count (> 25x25) reconfigurable optical switch matrices and their associated driving control electronics compatible withoperation in LEO and GEO environment. The optical switch matrices can operate at 1550nm wavelength range. However, the proposeddesigns must be such that adaptations for operation at 1064nm wavelength range have minimum technical and cost impacts. The GEO optical switch matrix development (optical switch and associated driving control electronics) shall target <10kg mass, <3liters volume, and <20W power consumption, while the LEO optical switch matrix development (optical switch and associated driving control electronics) shall target <2kg mass, <2liters volume and <5W power consumption. In addition, both optical switch matrices shall target large input/output port count (> 25x25), <3dB optical insertion loss, <40dB crosstalk and <1000FIT reliability value. Design options forlatching, packaging, redundancy and integration of WDM multiplexing / demultiplexing stages as part of the optical switch shall be investigated. Low cost and high volume manufacturing is also to be considered for the LEO optical switch version. Strategies for initial on-ground calibration and on-board recalibration / reconfiguration shall be traded-off and the control electronics shall be updated according to the selected baseline. The complete equipment (i.e., optical switches and their associated driving control electronics) shall be subjected to environmental testing, including launch effects and representative LEO and GEO environmental conditions (e.g., vacuum, thermal cycling, radiation).

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