Institute of Communications and Navigation
Area of research:
Free Space Optical (FSO) communications not only overcomes the bandwidth limitations of RF systems, but also offers higher power efficiency, better security and higher data rates compared to their traditional counterparts. These characteristics are also of very high interest for satellite communications, and there is a growing interest for such systems in the scientific community. The Optical Communication Systems Group at the Institute of Communications and Navigation has been developing an optical communication payload, with a primary goal of demonstrating high speed optical downlinks between satellites and the Earth.
In the framework of the internship a mechanical support structure for a laser communication terminal shall be designed. The terminal will be installed at the International Space Station (ISS). The design shall also act as an interface between the terminal and the external payload platform "Bartolomeo " on the ISS. Therefore the structure shall house electrical harnesses and DC/DC converters which need shielding from the harsh space environment. The design shall be further optimized after a finite element analysis (FEA) to reach the required stability and thus to meet the precise pointing requirements of the optical communication terminal.