"JOURNAL OF RADIO ELECTRONICS" (Zhurnal Radioelektroniki ISSN 1684-1719, N 10, 2017

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UDC 621.391.8

Optical Inter-Satellite Link in Comparison with RF case in CubeSat system


Zlata Gibalina, Vladimir Fadeev

Kazan National Research Technical University named after A.N.Tupolev, 10 Karl Marx Str., Kazan 420111, Russia


The paper is received on September 22, 2017


Abstract. The CubeSat is the format of small satellites that is frequently used for scientific purposes. However, communication is also in the focus of CubeSat research projects. Cooperative schemes for these satellites are required for more robustness and capacity. Hence, inter-satellite links (ISL) are necessary. This research project deals with implementation possibilities of optical ISL in the CubeSat format. The most common type of communication used in wireless systems is the radio frequency (RF) communication. However, nowadays space optical communication promises more benefits, first of all, higher data rate, security, lower power consumption and reduction of satellite mass. However, along with the advantages it also has disadvantages: the problem of pointing accuracy and maintenance of the link during movement. During this research the most famous satellite projects with optical communication links are considered for review of the main advantages and disadvantages of this type of communication in space. The typical link budgets for CubeSat are calculated for two cases: optical and RF for estimation of opportunities of ISL. Problems that links to accuracy and pointing are described as the factor of limitation of optical case. Results can be used for estimation of possibilities of current CubeSat equipment and for evaluation of opportunities of space optical communications. Moreover, described problems are the main topics for future research in this field of science.  

Key words: Cubesat, intersatellite link, optical communication.


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For citation:

Zlata Gibalina, Vladimir Fadeev. Optical Inter-Satellite Link in Comparison with RF case in CubeSat system. Zhurnal Radioelektroniki - Journal of Radio Electronics. 2017. No. 10. Available at http://jre.cplire.ru/jre/oct17/6/text.pdf.