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Optical Engineering

Determination Of A Variable-Spacing Array's Applicability As The NASA Advanced Communication Test Satellite Intersatellite Communication System Transmitter
Author(s): Peter L. Fuhr; Frederic M. Davidson
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Paper Abstract

Direct detection free-space optical communication using laser diode transmitters has been proposed for use on NASA's Advanced Communication Test Satellite (ACTS). The investigation reported here examines a prototype laser diode array for this purpose, having a variable spacing between the emitter stripes (VSA). The device was designed to output a moderately powerful beam into a narrower single-lobed radi-ation pattern than that of the (currently) more powerful regular-spacing phase-locked arrays (RSAs). Key parameters were measured to determine whether the VSA would be a good candidate for use in the ACTS system. Measurements showed a superior electrical frequency response, superior impulse response, and a slightly narrower far-field radiation pattern compared with the RSA. However, the limited output power of the VSA realistically precludes its use in a free-space optical communication system even when a polarization beam-combining system is used.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 1988
PDF: 5 pages
Opt. Eng. 27(3) doi: 10.1117/12.7977920
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 27, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Peter L. Fuhr, University of Vermont (United States)
Frederic M. Davidson, The Johns Hopkins University (United States)


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