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Variable Data Rate in Optical LEO Direct-to-Earth Links: Design Aspects and System Analysis
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  • Pantelis-Daniel Arapoglou ,
  • Giulio Colavolpe ,
  • Tommaso Foggi ,
  • Nicolò Mazzali ,
  • Armando Vannucci
Pantelis-Daniel Arapoglou
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Giulio Colavolpe
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Tommaso Foggi
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Nicolò Mazzali
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Armando Vannucci
University of Parma

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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In the frame of ongoing efforts between space agencies to define an on-off-keying-based optical low-Earth-orbit (LEO) direct-to-Earth (DTE) waveform, this paper offers an in-depth analysis of the Variable Data Rate (VDR) technique. VDR, in contrast to the currently adopted Constant Data Rate (CDR) approach, enables the optimization of the average throughput during a LEO pass over the optical ground station (OGS). The analysis addresses both critical link level aspects, such as receiver (time, frame, and amplitude) synchronization, as well as demonstrates the benefits stemming from employing VDR at system level. This was found to be around 100% compared to a CDR transmission approach.