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Proceedings Paper

A hybrid system for beam steering and wavefront control
Author(s): Vladimir V. Nikulin
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Paper Abstract

Performance of long-range mobile laser systems operating within Earth's atmosphere is generally limited by several factors. Movement of the communicating platforms, such as aircraft, terrain vehicles, etc., complemented by mechanical vibrations, is the main cause of pointing errors. In addition, atmospheric turbulence causes changes of the refractive index along the propagation path that lead to phase distortions (aberrations), thus creating random redistribution of optical energy in the spatial domain. The combined effect of these factors leads to an increased bit-error probability under adverse operation conditions. While traditional approaches provide separate treatment of these problems, suggesting the development of high-bandwidth beam steering systems to perform tracking and jitter rejection, and wavefront control for the mitigation of atmospheric effects, the two tasks could be integrated. In this paper we present a hybrid laser beam steering/wavefront control system comprising an electrically addressed spatial light modulator (SLM) installed on the Omni-Wrist sensor mount platform. The function of the Omni-Wrist is to provide coarse steering over a wide range of pointing angles, while the purpose of the SLM is twofold: it performs wavefront correction and fine steering. The control law for the Omni-Wrist is synthesized using the decentralized approach that provides independent access to the azimuth and declination channels, while the algorithm for calculating the required phase profile for the SLM is optimization-based. This paper presents the control algorithms, the approach to coordinating the operation of the both systems and the simulation results.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 June 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5338, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XVI, (16 June 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.529509
Show Author Affiliations
Vladimir V. Nikulin, SUNY/Binghamton (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5338:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XVI
Steve Mecherle; Cynthia Y. Young; John S. Stryjewski, Editor(s)

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