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Proceedings Paper

High-data-rate systems for space applications
Author(s): Jeffrey C. Livas; Eric A. Swanson; Stephen R. Chinn; Emily S. Kintzer
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Paper Abstract

High data rate communications systems will soon be needed for space applications. Technology and applications which support high data rates are already in place for ground- based telecommunications, or will be in the future. The advantages of an optical system over a traditional RF link for free space communications are particularly compelling for high data rates. We have been developing the necessary technology to demonstrate the feasibility of high rate free-space optical communications technology at 1.5 micrometers . The existence of a large, mature technology base at 1.5 micrometers developed for the telecommunications industry has allowed us to focus our development effort on two key technologies needed for space applications that have not been developed for the ground: a 1 Watt class optical power amplifier and a near quantum limited receiver. This paper will describe the overall system design for a high data rate optical communications system and present experimental results demonstrating < 50 photons/bit sensitivity at 10 Gbps with 1 Watt of optical power. The existence of a feasibility demonstration at this data rate enables downward scalability to data rates of 1 Gbps or less with small, inexpensive terminals.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 April 1995
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2381, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies VII, (20 April 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.207425
Show Author Affiliations
Jeffrey C. Livas, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Eric A. Swanson, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Stephen R. Chinn, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Emily S. Kintzer, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)


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

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