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Proceedings Paper

Heterodyne acquisition and tracking in a free-space diode laser link
Author(s): Martin F. Hueber; Arpad L. Scholtz; Walter R. Leeb
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Paper Abstract

A laboratory model of an optical intersatellite link employing InGaAs DFB semiconductor lasers operating at a wavelength of 1.55 micron was designed and realized. Heterodyne sensing was used for both the spatial acquisition and the spatial tracking processes. The function of a quadrant detector was realized by splitting the superimposed beam at the top of a reflecting pyramid into four subbeams. The angular resolution achieved - without using a telescope - is less than 5 microrad at a detector field of view of 1 mrad. The transmitter laser can be moved within a transverse plane along circular tracks. A microcomputer controls the receiver operation. During the acquisition process spiral scanning of the area of uncertainty is performed. For each search position the local oscillator laser is swept until a beat signal at 700 MHz is detected. Acquisition times of typically less than 16 s for a 200-element uncertainty area and tracking accuracies better than +/- 50 microrad for any examined test condition were achieved.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1991
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 1417, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies III, (1 June 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.43756
Show Author Affiliations
Martin F. Hueber, Technische Univ. Wien (Austria)
Arpad L. Scholtz, Technische Univ. Wien (Austria)
Walter R. Leeb, Technische Univ. Wien (Austria)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1417:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies III
David L. Begley; Bernard D. Seery, Editor(s)

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