Cubesat Laser Infrared CrosslinK

The CubeSat Laser Infrared CrosslinK (CLICK) is a two-part mission (A, and B/C) with the goal of reducing the risk of future large optical communication satellites. CLICK-A will demonstrate a miniaturized optical transmitter capable of ≥10 Mbps optical downlink at 1550 nm from a 3U CubeSat to a portable optical ground telescope. CLICK-B/C are two identical 3U CubeSats that will demonstrate a ≥ 20 Mbps crosslink between the two spacecraft (CLICK-B at 1537 nm and CLICK-C at 1563 nm). The payloads are jointly developed by MIT and NASA, and are on schedule for a 2022 bus integration and launch for CLICK-A, and 2023 for CLICK-B/C. The <1.5U CLICK payloads will fly onboard 3U buses inserted into a 400 km orbit. The CLICK-A payload will demonstrate both the transmitter optoelectronics and the fine-pointing system based on a MEMS fast steering mirror (FSM), which enables precision pointing of its downlink beam with an estimated error of 136.9 μrad (3-σ) for a pointing loss of -0.134 dB (3-σ) at the time of link closure. The CLICK-B/C payloads will demonstrate the pointing, acquisition and tracking system, which has achieved errors below 1 μrad in lab tests. Optical communication has the potential of significantly increasing the bandwidth and availability of internet across the globe, allowing people to have high-quality internet at almost any location on Earth and at lower costs. The shoebox-sized satellites will demonstrate that such small satellites can use laser to transmit a full HD movie between each other in less than 3 minutes.