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Proceedings Paper

Testing and performance analysis of a 650-Mbps quaternary pulse position modulation (QPPM) modem for free-space laser communications
Author(s): Dale J. Mortensen
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Paper Abstract

The testing and performance of a prototype modem developed at NASA Lewis Research Center for high-speed free-space direct detection optical communications is described. The testing was performed under laboratory conditions using computer control with specially developed test equipment that simulates free-space link conditions. The modem employs quaternary pulse position modulation at 325 Megabits per second (Mbps) on two optical channels, which are multiplexed to transmit a single 650 Mbps data stream. The measured results indicate that the receiver's automatic gain control (AGC), phased-locked-loop slot clock recovery, digital symbol clock recovery, matched filtering, and maximum likelihood data recovery circuits were found to have only 1.5 dB combined implementation loss during bit-error-rate (BER) performance measurements. Pseudo random bit sequences and real-time high quality video sources were used to supply 650 Mbps and 325 Mbps data streams to the modem. Additional testing revealed that Doppler frequency shifting can be easily tracked by the receiver, that simulated pointing errors are readily compensated for by the AGC circuits, and that channel timing skew affects the BER performance in an expected manner. Overall, the needed technologies for a high-speed laser communications modem were demonstrated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 April 1995
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 2381, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies VII, (20 April 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.207400
Show Author Affiliations
Dale J. Mortensen, NYMA, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2381:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies VII
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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