ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
AOCS Support for Optical Communication Experiments with the Small Satellite BIROS
The BIROS small satellite was built in DLR and launched 2016 as second satellite of the DLR Earth observation mission FireBird. It was developed in a close cooperation with the private company Astro- und Feinwerktechnik Adlershof GmbH. The BIROS team of the Institute of Optical Sensor Systems used the opportunity to equip BIROS with several secondary payloads, coming from different DLR institutes and connected with solutions for future Earth observation by using small satellites. One candidate for such a secondary payload was an optical communication system for satellite to ground communication. BIROS bus is a copy of the TET-1 bus ? the first FireBird satellite, launched 2012. Based on the TET-1 flight heritage and some new features of BIROS (e.g. orbit control) the main system engineers and the different engineering teams of BIROS had to answer the question whether it makes sense to install optical communication on BIROS or not. The most critical sub system was AOCS. How fare is AOCS quality away from the needs of optical communication and what could be done with an acceptable effort to solve open issues. Finally, laser ranging and a RGB matrix camera on board had been used, for getting answers.