Revolutionary Capability in an Evolutionary Manner
• Combine the best features of select deep space radio frequency (RF) and optical communication elements into an integrated system
• Prototype and demonstrate performance of key components to increase Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), leading to integrated hybrid communications system demonstration
Figure 1. Optimizing component integration of an RF/optical communication system.
• Offers potential 40x (optical) and 16x (RF) data rates with comparable MRO payload mass
• Reduces deep space mission risk for transition to optical communication technology by integrating highly capable and robust RF system (extensible design beyond Mars)
• Operates without requirement for uplink laser beacon
Figure 2. Lightweight 3m Ka-band mesh/25cm optical composite mirror teletenna subsystem.
Key Enabling Technologies:
• Beaconless acquisition through sensor fusion • RF/optical Software Defined Radio (SDR)
• Combined RF/optical Teletenna • Networked RF/optical link management
Figure 3. iROC link management via Delay/Disruption/Disconnection Tolerant Networking (DTN).
Figure 4. DTN unites the RF and optical links to form a cohesive system.
Figure 5. Formulation of potential iROC technology demonstrations to retire risk.