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Modular coherent photonic-aided payload receiver for communications satellites

Duarte , V. C. ; Prata, J. ; Ribeiro, C. ; Nogueira, R.N. ; WINZER, G ; Zimmermann, L. Zimmermann ; Walker, R. ; CLEMENTS, S ; Filipowicz, M. ; Napierala, M. ; Nasilowski, T. ; Crabb, J. ; Kechagias, M. ; Stampoulidis, L. Stampoulidis ; ANZALCHI, J ; Drummond, M. V.

Nature Communications Vol. 10, Nº 1, pp. 1 - 9, April, 2019.

ISSN (print): 2041-1723
ISSN (online): 2041-1723

Journal Impact Factor: 7,396 (in 2011)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1038/s41467-019-10077-4

Ubiquitous satellite communications are in a leading position for bridging the digital divide. Fulfilling such a mission will require satellite services on par with fibre services, both in bandwidth and cost. Achieving such a performance requires a new generation of communications payloads powered by large-scale processors, enabling a dynamic allocation of hundreds of beams with a total capacity beyond 1 Tbit s−1. The fact that the scale of the processor is proportional to the wavelength of its signals has made photonics a key technology for its implementation. However, one last challenge hinders the introduction of photonics: while large-scale processors demand a modular implementation, coherency among signals must be preserved using simple methods. Here, we demonstrate a coherent photonic-aided receiver meeting such demands. This work shows that a modular and coherent photonic-aided payload is feasible, making way to an extensive introduction of photonics in next generation communications satellites.