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CLICK A, B, C

CLICK [MIT]

CLICK (CubeSat Laser Infrared CrosslinK) is a two satellite 3U CubeSat technology missio by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, consisting of two 3U full-duplex laser communication terminals capable of supporting data rates of up to 20 Mbps at separations from 25 km to 580 km.

The Click mission consists of two 1.5U CubeSat payloads integrated in two 3U CubeSat to demonstrate lasercomcrosslinks between two LEO CubeSats. The project designed, analyzed, and prototyped a transceiver capable of 20 Mbps data rate crosslinks at ranges of over 500 km. This low-cost, scalable system could enable new classes of small satellite missions like swarms for remote sensing or global constellations for communications.

Both satellites will be deployed attached as a single object in orbit and then seperate from each other. The seperated satellites will drift away enableing laser cross link testing at different distances. 5 km after 2.3 says, 25 km after 11.4 days, 100 km after 44.7 days, 500 km after 127.8 days and 1000 km after 188.1 days. At the end of the mission the satellites will reenter the earth's atmosphere.

The first mission, CLICK A, is a risk reduction mission that will test out elements of the optical laser communications with a single 3-unit (3U) spacecraft. The key objective of this risk reduction testing is to demonstrate the fine steering mirror control systemís high precision pointing performance which enables the use of a lower power laser in CLICK B/C. This will be demonstrated via communication between the spacecraft in low-Earth orbit and a portable ground station telescope. The key performance metric of CLICK A is to establish a greater than 10 megabits per second (Mbps) data downlink from the CLICK A spacecraft from an altitude of approximately 400 kilometers, to a 30-centimeter telescope on the ground.

The goal of CLICK B/C, the second mission, is to demonstrate full-duplex (send and receive) optical communication crosslink between two 3U small spacecraft, in low-Earth-orbit, at distances between 25 - 580 kilometers)apart at data rates greater than 20 Mbps. This second mission will also demonstrate precision ranging capability between the spacecraft that provides the ability to measure the distance and location of each with a range resolution to within approximately 0.5 meters.

CLICK A was selected in 2018 by NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) to be launched as part of the ELaNa program and CLICK B and C were selected in 2020 to be launched as part of the ELaNa program.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Space Systems Laboratory
Contractors: Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Space Systems Laboratory; Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) (bus)
Equipment:
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion:
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime:
Mass:
Orbit:
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
CLICK A - 202x with ?
CLICK B - (via NASA ELaNa program) with ?, CLICK C
CLICK C - (via NASA ELaNa program) with ?, CLICK B

References: