Round Tables will be organized as discussion fora with Panels of Experts coordinated by moderators and rich Q&A from the participants. If you are interested to submit questions to be discussed in a Panel please send them by email directly to the moderators (see below). The questions received will be reviewed by the Moderators who will then select the ones to be addressed in the Panel Discussions.
Round Table on Space LIDAR testing, validation, and operation
Wednesday 19th October
The aim of this Round Table is to present the current state of the art and potential way forward to face some of the difficulties intrinsic with the development of a LIDAR instrument. In particular it shall concentrate on the following aspects, and try to answer the following the questions:
1) Safe operation on-ground, and cleanliness. No matter their operating wavelength LIDAR instruments in general involve high fluence (of the order of the J/cm²). To ensure safe operation of the instrument a very careful monitoring of the cleanliness of all testing (and with lower priority storage) areas is required. This is especially critical as parts of the system will, in fine, operate in vacuum. Cleanliness is a generic issue for optical space instrumentation (particulate and molecular contamination requirements) but in the case of active instrumentation trace contaminants (especially as it concerns silicones and other compounds which are not easily removed by oxygen cleaning) monitoring becomes a vital issue. Which strategies are applied to guarantee safe operations? Which are the molecular killers you have to watch out for? How do you detect them? How do you remove them?
2) End to end performance validation on-ground
LIDAR are conceived to work with an emitted signal which after a round trip of several hundreds km is then captured as an echo in the detection chain of the instrument. It is therefore understandably difficult to fully test the performances of the instrument from the ground. What are the strategies applied for the performance and good health checks at instrument level? generation of echo pulse from
3) Monitoring, safe operation and adjustments in orbit. Once the laser is fully integrated (and even more importantly once it is in orbit) the observable set available is significantly reduced compared to what was available on ground. To obtain diagnostic data in case of unexpected behaviour, performance recovery actions and safe laser operation, becomes then a challenge. What strategies can be applied from bread-boarding level onward to ensure this issue is minimised? What are the recommended strategies for safe, in orbit, laser adjustment? Try first on a flight spare model, use simulation?
4) Validation and calibration campaigns. The validation in orbit of the instrument and its calibration are an integral part of obtaining scientifically sound data. What are the main strategies and ancillary instruments to be developed, tested and used in this performance validation in flight? What are the most widely and more successful strategies? Ground measurements? Plane-borne and portable instruments allowing for longer term overflights from the satellite?
Moderators shall be:
Linda Mondin, Laser Engineer, ESA Optoelectronics section, firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Mondin is part of the Technical and Quality Management Directorate of the European Space Agency. She is laser engineering integrated support for the LIDAR of the Earth Observation missions Aeolus and Earthcare (Aladin and AtLid respectively). She was formerly at CNES where she was mostly involved on the CH4 detection Franco-German LIDAR mission Merlin, topographic LIDAR studies, gravitational wave detectors, and frequency standards for cold atoms and metrology. She is a graduate (MPhys) of the University of Florence (Italy). She earned her PhD in Physics on Laser frequency stabilisation for LISA like space missions, in 2005, at Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (UNSA Nice France) with the ARTEMIS group (directed by C.N.Man and specialising in GW detection antennas: VIRGO and LISA).
Upendra Singh, NASA Technical Fellow for Sensors and instrumentation, NESC NASA Langley Research Center, Upendra.N.Singh@nasa.gov
Dr. Upendra N. Singh, NASA Technical Fellow for Sensors and Instrumentation at the NASA Engineering and Safety Center, NASA Langley Research Center is an internationally recognized atmospheric scientist and laser remote sensing expert with 30 years’ experience. During last two decades, Dr. Singh served as an Aerospace Technologist, Branch Head, Chief Technologist and in the last 3 years, as an Associate Director for Sensor Systems at the Engineering Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center providing technical leadership to more than 350 highly qualified professionals in the area of science, aeronautics and exploration. Dr. Singh served as the Principal Investigator of the $80 M multi-Center NASA Laser Risk Reduction Program (LRRP), which he envisioned, formulated and implemented during 2002-2010. In last two decades, Dr. Singh has organized more than 30 international symposia/conferences and has authored/co-authored over 300 scientific articles in atmospheric sciences and remote sensing area.
Dr. Singh earned his Ph.D. degree in Physics from University of Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, France in 1985. He is a Senior Executive Fellow (2002) of the JFK School of Government, Harvard University. In 2002, he was selected into the NASA Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program (SESCDP) and received his SES certification from US Office of Personal Management (OPM) in 2005. He served on the Board of Editors for Journal of Optics and Lasers in Engineering, Elsevier Science Ltd, England (2000-2008) and is the Associate Editor for SPIE Journal of Applied Remote Sensing (2007-current). He is the President of International Coordination Group of Laser Atmospheric Studies (ICLAS) of International Radiation Commission (IRC). He served on the Board of Director for the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) during 2009-11. He is an elected fellow of the International Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE), and the Optical Society of America (OSA), and a Senior Member of IEEE.
Dr. Singh has received numerous awards and honors, including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal (2001); NASA Langley’s H.J.E. Reid Award (2005), NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal (2006) and multiple NASA Group Achievement Awards. Dr. Singh is known internationally as a technical leader who conceived and successfully led the advancement of laser/lidar technology for NASA’s earth science space missions. He has brought together space agency leaders and policy makers to discuss and describe their plans, priorities and challenges for their space missions; and to help NASA reduce costs through the discovery of natural collaborations that use each agency’s strengths to realize nationally mandated priority Earth observation missions to collect the observational data for the societal benefit of all the nations.
Round Table on Megaconstellations and opportunities for space optics
Thursday 20th October
Currently the space community is believed to be at a turning point now private investors have stepped up and taken over the traditional role of space agencies in funding large constellations of comparatively small satellites.
Although the current mega constellations under discussion all focus on telecom applications, the first effects on space optics are already becoming evident with laser communication being part of the core for some of the constellations under design (be it inter satellite or satellite to ground communications).
With factories being build that are supposed to deliver several satellites per week, it is logical to presume that the satellite bus prices will drastically drop and other constellations like high resolution or hyperspectral imaging constellations will become much more affordable.
Where small satellites used to be linked to lower reliability, these constellations require high reliability solutions in order for the business cases to be realistic. Therefore the cost effectiveness is mainly achieved through design for manufacturing and volume production.
The panel discussion is intended to provoke some discussions on the most anticipated developments and associated time paths in the broadest sense. Among various other subjects, some of the issues to be addressed are:
- Utility of nanosatellites for optical constellations
- Shared launches between telecom and optical satellites
- How to achieve high reliability at low cost
- The effect of mega constellations on development funding and the role of the space agencies.
- Opportunities for in orbit validation through ride sharing or hosted payloads
Workshop will be moderated by:
Elisabetta Rugi Grond is General Manager of OEI Opto AG, sine 20 years working in the field of electro-optical systems and laser communications. OEI Opto AG consists of the asset and employees of the former RUAG Space Product Unit Opto-electronics and Instruments and, over the last two decades, its team has gained substantial know-how that resulted in the design and manufacturing of sophisticated optical and electronically systems for space applications such as radiation monitors, laser altimeters and various electronic and optical products for scientific instruments. Furthermore, OEI Opto is very advanced in the development of a high performance, micro sized optical terminal for small/micro-satellites, known as the OPTEL-μ®.
Rizwan Parvez is the VP of Systems Development & Integration at BridgeSat, Inc. Formed in 2015 by Allied Minds, BridgeSat is fully dedicated to commercializing space-based optical communication systems. To achieve this, BridgeSat is offering small, low-cost space laser communication terminals, and access to a global optical communications ground network, both of which are being developed by BridgeSat based on current heritage and state-of-the-art technology. He brings more than a decade of technical management experience and expertise in satellite integration & test, systems engineering, and product strategy. At both SSL (Space Systems Loral) and Orbital Sciences (now Orbital ATK), he led engineering teams across all disciplines supporting the design, integration, testing, launch and operations of GEO communication satellites. In his last role at SSL prior to joining BridgeSat, he was analyzing commercial low-Earth & emerging market projects supporting company expansion and growth strategies.
Johan Leijtens is founder and owner of Lens R&D a small technostarter company specialized on high reliability affordable sunsensors for space and terrestrial applications. Focussing on cost reduction through design for manufacturing and volume production while retaining or improving reliability Lens R&D is trying to introduce true Space grade Commercial Off the Shelf (SCOTS) to space applications. More than 30 years of experience in design and systems engineering for military and space opto-electronical equipment has led to the insight that now is probably the right time to introduce such an approach.