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Proceedings Paper

Results of one GBPS aircraft-to-ground lasercom validation demonstration
Author(s): Victor J. Chan; Robert L. Arnold
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Paper Abstract

Laser communications between high flying aircraft such as high altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and between the aircraft and the ground offers the potential to transfer extremely high amounts of information faster and with a smaller package than is currently possible with a radio frequency and microwave technologies. Over the last few years, BMDO has funded a number of technology efforts through the US Army Space and Strategic Defense Command (SSDC) reducing the risks associated with laser communications. One of these efforts, at ThermoTrex Corporation in San Diego, California, is now being carried forward towards an Advanced Technology Demonstration. In 1996, BMDO and SSDC have supported an effort to demonstrate operation of the lasercom system on the Boeing Airborne Surveillance Testbed aircraft by establishing a long range link to another lasercom terminal on the ground. Link acquisition utilizes interfaces to global positioning systems, an inertial navigation unit for initial pointing and atomic line filter technology for background light rejection. We present the development of the acquisition scenario algorithms and results of the experiment performed on December 4, 1996, with the aircraft circling ThermoTrex in San Diego. This first test had the aircraft at a range of 20 to 30 km, at an altitude of 38,000 feet.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 April 1997
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2990, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies IX, (24 April 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.273709
Show Author Affiliations
Victor J. Chan, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)
Robert L. Arnold, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2990:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies IX
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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