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Proceedings Paper

Laser communication intersatellite links realized with commercial off-the-shelf technology
Author(s): Robert W. Kaliski; Sheryl M. Genco; Donald A. Thompson; Bruce Breshears; Tim O'Connor; Kyle B. Miller; Edward W. Taylor; Anthony D. Sanchez; James E. Winter; Roberta M. Ewart
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Paper Abstract

Experiments were conducted to evaluate the viability of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology in the design of high-performance optical intersatellite communications links. The optical links were operated at 155, 622 and 2488 Megabits per second (Mbps) and at 1550 nm wavelength. Communications components were evaluated against performance parameters for on-off keyed (OOK) systems. Transmitters, receivers, optical amplifiers, and filters, used to minimize the impact of amplified spontaneous emission (ASE), were characterized individually and within system configurations. Bit error rate (BER) as a function of photons per bit was characterized for several system configurations. Extinction ratio analysis experiments were conducted to determine the limiting factors on the systems performance. Widely varying optical powers in space (for low earth orbit) imply a robust receiver dynamic range requirement. Dynamic range of COTS receivers was examined and resulted in sufficient performance. In addition, gamma radiation tests on fiber amplifiers were also evaluated in a system context.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 April 1999
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3615, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XI, (26 April 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.346176
Show Author Affiliations
Robert W. Kaliski, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Sheryl M. Genco, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Donald A. Thompson, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Bruce Breshears, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Tim O'Connor, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Kyle B. Miller, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Edward W. Taylor, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Anthony D. Sanchez, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
James E. Winter, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Roberta M. Ewart, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3615:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XI
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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