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Proceedings Paper

Deployable wavelength optimizer for multi-laser sensing and communication undersea
Author(s): Burton Neuner; Alexandru Hening; B. Melvin Pascoguin; Brian Dick; Martin Miller; Nghia Tran; Michael Pfetsch
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Paper Abstract

This effort develops and tests algorithms and a user-portable optical system designed to autonomously optimize the laser communication wavelength in open and coastal oceans. In situ optical meteorology and oceanography (METOC) data gathered and analyzed as part of the auto-selection process can be stored and forwarded. The system performs closedloop optimization of three visible-band lasers within one minute by probing the water column via passive retroreflector and polarization optics, selecting the ideal wavelength, and enabling high-speed communication. Backscattered and stray light is selectively blocked by employing polarizers and wave plates, thus increasing the signal-to-noise ratio. As an advancement in instrumentation, we present autonomy software and portable hardware, and demonstrate this new system in two environments: ocean bay seawater and outdoor test pool freshwater. The next generation design is also presented. Once fully miniaturized, the optical payload and software will be ready for deployment on manned and unmanned platforms such as buoys and vehicles. Gathering timely and accurate ocean sensing data in situ will dramatically increase the knowledge base and capabilities for environmental sensing, defense, and industrial applications. Furthermore, communicating on the optimal channel increases transfer rates, propagation range, and mission length, all while reducing power consumption in undersea platforms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 2017
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 10186, Ocean Sensing and Monitoring IX, 1018607 (22 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2264945
Show Author Affiliations
Burton Neuner, SPAWAR Systems Ctr. Pacific (United States)
Alexandru Hening, SPAWAR Systems Ctr. Pacific (United States)
B. Melvin Pascoguin, SPAWAR Systems Ctr. Pacific (United States)
Brian Dick, SPAWAR Systems Ctr. Pacific (United States)
Martin Miller, SPAWAR Systems Ctr. Pacific (United States)
Nghia Tran, SPAWAR Systems Ctr. Pacific (United States)
Michael Pfetsch, SPAWAR Systems Ctr. Pacific (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10186:
Ocean Sensing and Monitoring IX
Weilin (Will) Hou; Robert A. Arnone, Editor(s)

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