Avo Photonics Chosen by Aerospace to Produce Spaceborne Laser Beacon for CubeSat Satellites
The Aerospace Corporation has chosen our partner Avo Photonics, industry leader in rugged, micro-optic design and production, to develop and provide ongoing packaging services for a semiconductor laser illumination source for use on CubeSat miniaturized spaceborne satellites.
Avo was chosen because of its unique capabilities in rugged space-qualified manufacturing, including precision optical alignment, welding, and environmental sealing, while achieving optical performance to meet The Aerospace Corporation’s tight specifications. The program required Avo to produce a 10 watt continuous wave beam at a wavelength of 795 nanometers within a few degrees of the CubeSat reference axis system. Operating at 30 percent efficiency, the high-powered optical source is designed to run over numerous illumination cycles. To ensure that the components were mission ready, Avo tested the opto-electronic performance of the lasers over the defined qualification limits for temperature, vibration and shock.
With The Aerospace Corporation at the forefront of miniaturized satellite technology, high function electro-optic space missions are being developed on a rapid schedule, from concept to implementation, using CubeSat hosts. Decreases in size and mass allow for lower launch cost while still enabling the use of cutting-edge components to achieve mission success. Larger satellites can take five to 10 years to design, build and fly, while CubeSats can be completed and launched in as few as one to two years, ensuring that the latest breakthrough technology arrives in space with less financial risk.
“Avo’s heritage involves producing lasers for the space environment, so we know how imperative it is to provide only the most stable, robust components and assemblies,” said Dr. Joseph Dallas, president of Avo Photonics. “We have the expertise to balance the challenges imposed by spaceborne instruments with the size, cost and delivery time constraints of The Aerospace Corporation’s CubeSat Programs.”
Aerospace senior scientist Dr. Renny Fields said, “We chose Avo because of their experience, and we were confident that they would deliver cost-effective, reliable, rugged flight hardware.”
The Aerospace Corporation provides independent technical and scientific research, development and advisory services to national security space programs since 1960. It operates a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for the United States Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office and supports all national security space programs. It also applies more than 50 years of experience with space systems to projects for civil agencies like NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, commercial companies, universities, and international organizations in the national interest. To find out more about The Aerospace Corporation, visit www.aerospace.org.