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Optical Engineering

Photovoltaically powered modulating retroreflectors
Author(s): Robert J. Walters; James L. Murphy; William S. Rabinovich; G. Charmaine Gilbreath; David M. Wilt; Mark A. Smith; Michael J. Krasowski; Phillip Jenkins; D. Scheiman; Jeffrey H. Warner; Scott R. Messenger; Justin R. Lorentzen; Geoffrey P. Summers
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Paper Abstract

The development of a photovoltaically (PV) powered laser communication system that constitutes a miniature, highly energy-efficient wireless communication technology is described. The technology is based on the direct integration of a multiquantum well (MQW) modulating retroreflector (MRR) optical communication node and a monolithically integrated module (MIM) PV power source. The MQW MRR optical data link exploits the shift in the MQW absorption peak under an applied reverse bias to modulate incident laser light, enabling binary encoding of data for transfer. A MIM consists of many individual solar cells monolithically integrated on a single substrate and offers the design versatility necessary to enable efficient electrical conversion of both incident sunlight and the system laser light and the ability to match the voltage output to the MRR requirements. A description of the development of the MRR and MIM components of the system is given. Results of bench-top demonstrations of the operational system are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 2006
PDF: 6 pages
Opt. Eng. 45(3) 034003 doi: 10.1117/1.2182127
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 45, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Robert J. Walters, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
James L. Murphy, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
William S. Rabinovich, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
G. Charmaine Gilbreath, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
David M. Wilt, Jtech Consulting (United States)
Mark A. Smith, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
Michael J. Krasowski, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
Phillip Jenkins, Ohio Aerospace Institute (United States)
D. Scheiman, Ohio Aerospace Institute (United States)
Jeffrey H. Warner, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Scott R. Messenger, SFA, Inc. (United States)
Justin R. Lorentzen, SFA, Inc. (United States)
Geoffrey P. Summers, Naval Research Lab. (United States)

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