Leocat

Overview

LeoCAT is a technology demonstrator optical bench. It will be used for intersatellite laser communication targeted at the small satellite constellation market. Its small form factor and low recurring price enable constellation missions to make use of this technology within a reasonable budget. Large production rounds can be easily achieved within the FSO Instruments consortium.

LeoCAT enables satellite laser terminals to deliver up to 10Gbit/s over a distance of 4400km. LeoCAT foresees four terminals per satellite: 2 male (1556nm) and 2 female (1535nm).

Current status

A demonstrator of LeoCAT is currently undergoing build and testing. This qualification ensures robustness to launch conditions, stability of the optical channels, pointing stability and robustness against other environmental conditions experienced in space.

Features

  • Intersatellite Optical Link up to 4400km
  • 10 Gbps (@4400km)
  • Male-female configuration, based on 4 terminals per satellite
  • 70 mm aperture
  • Low volume
  • Low mass: <3 kg
  • Low recurring cost
  • Operational temperature range: -20 °C + 40 °C
  • Survival temperature range: -40 °C + 60 °C
  • Pointing error Tx/Rx: <3urad RMS
  • WFE: 100 nm RMS

Research & Development

The research leading to LeoCAT was performed in partnership between Nedinsco and TNO, with the support of an ESA ARTES Programme.

Point of contact

Stefan Van Neer