Objective: The objective of the activity is the development and testing of an receiver for lunar optical communication in a photon starved regime. Targeted Improvements: Photon-starved optical communications data and tracking receiver with 8 times increased bandwidth (1 ns versus 125 ps). Description: A photon-counting detector receiver package for free-space communications between a lunar satellite and Earth-based ground terminal does not exist. Optical communications technology offers the potential of a drastic increase in data-rates specificity for lunar communications applications. The required building blocks for a photon-counting receiver package cannot be met by commercial off-the-shelf systems. This activity will enable the realisation and the integration of a large area MCT e-APD detector with high bandwidth (GHz range) into a Integrated Dewar Cooler Assembly (IDCA) to support classical optical communication wavelengths (around 1550nm) with a photon-counting capability. The developed receiver package can be validated and tested at a later stage in a commercial optical ground station or in ESA's optical ground station of the Optical Nucleus Network. The following tasks shall be addressed in the frame of this activity:-Development of photo-counting large area detector (512x512 pixel) including the ROIC critical assessment for the cooling engine for the detector,-Elaboration of interfaces for free-space coupling witha telescope and other sub-systems of the optical ground station-End to end system validation using a laboratory-based transmitterand modem.The realisation of a ground-based receiver package represents a key technology development with high market potential, which will enhance the European industry capabilities. Procurement Policy: C(2) = A relevant participation (in terms of quality and quantity) of non-primes (incl. SMEs) is required. For additional information please go to:…

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