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Optical Engineering

45-Mbit/s cat's-eye modulating retroreflectors
Author(s): William S. Rabinovich; Peter G. Goetz; R. Mahon; Lee A. Swingen; James L. Murphy; M. Ferraro; Harris Rayvon Burris; Christopher I. Moore; Michele R. Suite; G. Charmaine Gilbreath; Steven C. Binari; David J. Klotzkin
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Paper Abstract

Modulating retroreflectors (MRRs) couple passive optical retroreflectors with electro-optic modulators to allow free-space optical communication with a laser and pointing-acquisition-tracking system required on only one end of the link. Recently, MRR using multiple quantum well (MQW) modulators have been demonstrated using a large-area MQW placed in front of the aperture of a corner cube. For a MQW modulator, the maximum modulation rate can range into the gigahertz, limited only by the RC time constant of the device. Most MRR systems have used corner-cube retroreflectors with apertures of about 1 cm, which require large, and hence high-capacitance, modulators. Thus data rates exceeding a few megabits per second are not possible. We describe a new kind of MQW MRR that uses a cat's-eye retroreflector with the MQW in the focal plane of the cat's-eye. This system decouples the size of the modulator from the size of the optical aperture and allows much higher data rates. A 45-Mbit/s free space link over a range of 7 km is demonstrated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Opt. Eng. 46(10) 104001 doi: 10.1117/1.2789634
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 46, Issue 10
Show Author Affiliations
William S. Rabinovich, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Peter G. Goetz, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
R. Mahon, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Lee A. Swingen, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
James L. Murphy, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
M. Ferraro, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Harris Rayvon Burris, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Christopher I. Moore, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Michele R. Suite, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
G. Charmaine Gilbreath, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Steven C. Binari, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
David J. Klotzkin

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