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Proceedings Paper

All-weather long-wavelength infrared free-space optical communications
Author(s): Donald P. Hutchinson; Roger K. Richards; John T. Simpson; Marc L. Simpson
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Paper Abstract

ORNL is developing a high-speed, full-duplex all weather communications link for ranges up to 5 kilometers. To accomplish this project, we have constructed an RF-driven waveguide CO2 laser and a dielectric-waveguide Stark modulator. The 10-micron wavelength was selected for its ability to penetrate smoke, fog, and rain. The modulator is based on the Stark shift of NH2D (deuterated ammonia). The laser is driven by a 60 MHz RF amplifier at a power level of approximately 50 watts. The resonator cavity of the laser is formed by a 2.4 mm internal diameter ceramic waveguide with external optics. The RF electrodes are formed from aluminum heatsink extrusions that also provide cooling for the discharge. Details of the laser design will be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 December 2002
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4821, Free-Space Laser Communication and Laser Imaging II, (9 December 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.450643
Show Author Affiliations
Donald P. Hutchinson, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)
Roger K. Richards, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)
John T. Simpson, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)
Marc L. Simpson, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4821:
Free-Space Laser Communication and Laser Imaging II
Jennifer C. Ricklin; David G. Voelz, Editor(s)

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