SCIENTIA SINICA Informationis, Volume 48, Issue 9: 1183-1197(2018) https://doi.org/10.1360/N112018-00047

Establishment and in-orbit test of optical link in satellite-to-ground quantum communication

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  • ReceivedMar 7, 2018
  • AcceptedMar 27, 2018
  • PublishedSep 7, 2018


The establishment of a high-precision optical link is a necessary condition for satellite-to-ground quantum communication experiments. Compared with conventional laser communications, a quantum experimental satellite needs to solve special requirements such as the great difference between the energy of quantum light and beacon light, and the establishment of optical links between one satellite and two ground stations. Based on the scientific demands of satellite-to-ground quantum communication, this paper proposes an overall scheme for an optical link establishing system with a combination of satellite pointing and load autonomous searching. By using a multiple-axis pointing control method, the requirements of high-precision optical tracking are met. We use the stare-stare capture method to achieve fast capture between the satellite and the ground stations. The high-precision alignment of the satellite and ground quantum beams is realized by using a method of joint scanning and system correction. Finally, in-orbit test results of the Mo-tse quantum experimental satellite are given. The experimental data show that all parameters in the establishment of optical links meet or exceed the expected requirements.

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