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Proceedings Paper

LEO-to-ground optical communications link using adaptive optics correction on the OPALS downlink
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Paper Abstract

The Optical PAyload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) experiment on the International Space Station (ISS) recently demonstrated successful optical downlinks to the NASA/JPL 1-m aperture telescope at the Optical Communication Telescope Laboratory (OCTL) located near Wrightwood, CA. A large area (200 μm diameter) free space coupled avalanche photodiode (APD) detector was used to receive video and a bit patterns at 50 Mb/s. We report on a recent experiment that used an adaptive optics system at OCTL to correct for atmospherically-induced refractive index fluctuations so that the downlink from the ISS could be coupled into a single mode fiber receiver. Stable fiber coupled power was achieved over an entire pass using a self-referencing interferometer based adaptive optics system that was provided and operated by Boeing Co. and integrated to OCTL. End-to-end transmission and reconstruction of an HD video signal verified the communication performance as in the original OPALS demonstration. Coupling the signal into a single mode fiber opens the possibility for higher bandwidth and efficiency modulation schemes and serves as a pilot experiment for future implementations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 March 2016
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9739, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXVIII, 973904 (15 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2211201
Show Author Affiliations
Malcolm W. Wright, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Joseph Kovalik, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Jeff Morris, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Matthew Abrahamson, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Abhijit Biswas, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9739:
Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXVIII
Hamid Hemmati; Don M. Boroson, Editor(s)

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