US 9,813,151 B2
Free-space optical communication module for small satellites
Ryan Wallace Kingsbury, Cambridge, MA (US); Kathleen Michelle Riesing, Cambridge, MA (US); Kerri Lynn Cahoy, Lexington, MA (US); Tam Nguyen Thuc Nguyen, Cambridge, MA (US); and David O. Caplan, Westford, MA (US)
Assigned to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (US)
Filed by Ryan Wallace Kingsbury, Cambridge, MA (US); Kathleen Michelle Riesing, Cambridge, MA (US); Kerri Lynn Cahoy, Lexington, MA (US); Tam Nguyen Thuc Nguyen, Cambridge, MA (US); and David O. Caplan, Westford, MA (US)
Filed on Aug. 4, 2015, as Appl. No. 14/817,985.
Claims priority of provisional application 62/033,321, filed on Aug. 5, 2014.
Claims priority of provisional application 62/112,854, filed on Feb. 6, 2015.
Prior Publication US 2016/0043800 A1, Feb. 11, 2016
Int. Cl. H04B 10/00 (2013.01); H04B 10/118 (2013.01)
CPC H04B 10/118 (2013.01) 15 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A Cubesat module for a CubeSat, the CubeSat module comprising:
an optical transmitter to transmit data to a remote terminal;
a receiver to acquire an optical beacon from the remote terminal; and
a fine-pointing module, operably coupled to a coarse-pointing module of the CubeSat, to point the optical transmitter toward the remote terminal with an accuracy range that overlaps with an accuracy range of the coarse-pointing module of the CubeSat so as to establish a communications link between the CubeSat and the remote terminal over a low-Earth-orbit (LEO) distance,
wherein the coarse-pointing module is configured to point the CubeSat by slewing a body of the CubeSat.