ALASCA: the ESA Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics Optical Feeder Link demonstrator Facility

R. Biasi*, D. Bonaccini Calia, M. Centrone, M. Enderlein, M. Faccini, O. Farley, D. Gallieni, D. Gooding, P. Haguenauer, P. Janout, D. Jenkins, F. Lison, J. Luis, N. Martinez Rey, J. Osborn, C. Patauner, D. Pescoller, M. Reyes, L. Sabatini, L. SalviZ. Sodnik, D. Alaluf, M. Tintori, M. Tordi, M. Townson, H. Virdee, D. P. Wei, W. R.L. Clements

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We report on the novel ALASCA (Advanced LGS AO for Satellite Communication Assessment) facility being built for ESA by a consortium of industry and national research institutes under the ScyLight program. The aim of ALASCA is to create a facility for Optical Feeder Links (OFL) field tests, as well as to demonstrate at the ESA Optical Ground Station in Tenerife, starting in 2023, 24/7 reliable operation of optimal Optical Feeder Links based on Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics (LGS-AO) to solve the point-ahead problem on ground-space laser communications. Space optical communication represents a technological challenge due to its specific requirements and merit parameters; the consortium's extensive experience in LGS-AO in the astronomical field allows an expert technology transfer to earth-space communication. This will enhance the review of the ALASCA's main requirements, their implementation by a proper tailoring of the modular solutions that will be adopted by the design, facing the new challenges at system level posed by the OFL applications compared to astronomical solutions. The ALASCA project will, last but not least, provide a technology assessment and a development roadmap towards the industrial exploitation of a 24/7 operational Optical Ground Station (OGS). We will provide an overview of the ALASCA project, its goals, phases and planned timeline up to the field experiments; the presentation will then focus on the project status, including also the simulations results of LGS-AO assisted OFL.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings volume 12777 international conference on space optics — ICSO 2022
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2022
EditorsKyriaki Minoglou, Nikos Karafolas, Bruno Cugny
Place of PublicationBellingham, US
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781510668034
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event2022 International Conference on Space Optics, ICSO 2022 - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 3 Oct 20227 Oct 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


Conference2022 International Conference on Space Optics, ICSO 2022

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