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Proceedings Paper

Status of SDIO/IS&T lasercom testbed program
Author(s): Eric J. Korevaar; Scott H. Bloom; Kevin D. Slatnick; Victor J. Chan; Irene H. Chen; Michael D. Rivers; Carrey Foster; Kyunam Choi; C. S. Liu
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Paper Abstract

Laser satellite networking is a key element of effective communications operations to support both strategic and tactical missions. Lasercom offers a number of important advantages over conventional RF satellite communications. The shorter wavelength available using lasers provides higher data rates at less power and smaller apertures, both resulting in lower weight requirements. On the other hand, lasercom entails more difficulty in acquisition and tracking because of the narrow beams used. Technology problems to be overcome before intersatellite laser communications can reliably outperform RF communications include acquisition in the presence of significant background light from the earth, tracking to resolutions of a few microradians, high speed modulation of semiconductor lasers with close to one watt of power in a diffraction limited beam, high bandwidth low noise detector response, and demonstrated long term performance. We have developed critical technologies to solve some of these problems, and demonstrated them in a laboratory testbed which also supports development and testing of network protocols and algorithms. Our hardware provides new capability in background light rejection by using innovative atomic line filter technology, improved tracking accuracy by using innovative zero backlash Roto-Lok drive gimbal telescopes, and increased communications bandwidth by incorporating multi-link networking protocols.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 August 1993
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1866, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies V, (6 August 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.149249
Show Author Affiliations
Eric J. Korevaar, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)
Scott H. Bloom, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)
Kevin D. Slatnick, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)
Victor J. Chan, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)
Irene H. Chen, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)
Michael D. Rivers, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)
Carrey Foster, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)
Kyunam Choi, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)
C. S. Liu, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1866:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies V
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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