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Optical Engineering

Wideband heterodyne spatial tracking for optical space communications
Author(s): D. Jonathan Bernays; Gary M. Carter; Kim Allen Winick
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Paper Abstract

wideband optical heterodyne spatial tracker for use in diodelaser-based heterodyne optical space communications is described. The tracking error signals are formed by correlating the output of an intensity-noise-canceling communications receiver with the outputs of the tracking photodetectors. This correlation technique removes noise-induced offsets, which may significantly limit performance of other wideband tracking schemes and is an alternative to adding amplitude modulation in the track channel. The technique also enhances the SNR in the track channel relative to square-law-based demodulation of the track channel alone. The correlation concept is experimentally verified and closed-loop tracking performance is demonstrated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 1992
PDF: 12 pages
Opt. Eng. 31(3) doi: 10.1117/12.56088
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 31, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
D. Jonathan Bernays, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lincoln Lab (United States)
Gary M. Carter, Univ. of Maryland (United States)
Kim Allen Winick

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