Abstract

High-data-rate space-to-ground optical links are anticipated to be an alternative to radio-frequency spectrum congestion for the next generation of high-throughput geostationary satellites. An affordable site diversity system based on several optical ground stations (OGSs) and an optical fiber network is necessary to overcome cloud obstruction of the feeder link. In this paper, we report three promising sets of OGSs in the vicinity of existing ingress and egress points of a selected pan-European optical fiber network. These OGS networks are optimized for reaching at least 99.9% feeder link availability while minimizing the overall cost of the system. For the first time, the optical fiber network between OGSs is optimized using existing high-data-rate fiber links to limit its expense. The resulting cost estimates for each OGS network highlight the need to define a new cost model considering optical feeder link specificity. In addition, the link availability is simulated using a 2 year cloud mask data bank, taking into consideration practical cloud blockage forecasting duration and assuming optical transmission through thin ice clouds.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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