Laser Communication from Space Using Superconducting Detectors

Don Boroson

Date & Time

Fri, August 15, 2014


In the fall of 2013, NASA's Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration successfully demonstrated high-rate laser communications between a lunar-orbiting satellite and terrestrial ground stations. The MIT Lincoln Laboratory-designed and built system included a number of novel features both in the space segment and in the ground segment. The 622 Mbps downlink was made possible with only relatively small receive telescopes by employing a novel receiver based on Superconducting Nanowire Single-Photon Detector (SNSPD) arrays. In this presentation, we will present an overview of the mission, the drivers on downlink performance, and the Lincoln Laboratory-built SNSPD system that enabled it, including its basic specifications and its supporting electronics.


Laser Communication From Space Using Superconducting Detectors - A Review


Don Boroson

United States