Research for Secure Development and Success of Missions
Research on optical space communications technologies
The Japanese Data Relay System (JDRS) is being developed for the purpose of delivering larger volumes of data at higher transfer rates to users of Earth observation data.
Our research aims to reduce size and weight of optical communication instruments in order to readily provide optical data relay services to users, Earth observation data and others, and to improve the value of Earth observation satellites and other low earth orbit (LEO) satellites.
We have been researching a high-efficiency, high-power optical amplifier with a user data rate 2- to 4-fold higher than the 1.8 G bps data rate for JDRS. We also seek, over a longer timeframe, to transmit much more of the data collected during space exploration programs (e.g., at a data rate above 700 M bps for lunar exploration programs).
The Value of Our Research
The acquisition of a high-speed data transmission technology would improve the value of Earth observation satellites and other LEO satellites and enhance Japan’s industrial competitiveness in optical satellite communications. Space-probe missions like the Hayabusa asteroid explorer, Kaguya lunar explorer, and other would also benefit from advanced optical communications technology to deliver previously unknown details about outer space by transmitting more images and videos back to Earth.
The research has been conducted with a focus on the following three aspects.
- To reduce loads of optical communication terminal on the user satellites of JDRS
- To develop a high-efficiency, high-power optical amplifier to transmit user data at double or quadruple the rate of the JDRS, along with a highly sensitive receiving technology.
- To enhance Japan's industrial competitiveness by making its optical satellite communications technologies an international standard.