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Proceedings Paper

Optical array receiver for deep-space communications
Author(s): Victor A. Vilnrotter; Chi-Wung Lau; Meera Srinivasan; R. Mukai; K. Andrews
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Paper Abstract

An optical array receiver concept is developed and analyzed. It is shown that for ground-based reception, the number of array elements can be increased without any performance degradation, as long as the array telescope diameters exceed the coherence-length of the atmosphere. Maximum likelihood detection of turbulence-degraded signal fields is developed for the case of pulse-position modulated (PPM) signals observed in the presence of background radiation. Performance of optical array receivers is compared to single-aperture receivers with diameters ranging from 4 to 8 meters, both in the presence of turbulence and in a turbulence-free environment such as space. It is shown that in the absence of atmospheric turbulence, single-aperture receivers outperform receiver arrays when significant background radiation is present. However, it is also shown that for ground-based reception of deep-space signals, the number of array elements can be as great as several thousand without incurring any performance degradation relative to a large single-aperture receiver.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 June 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5338, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XVI, (16 June 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.529628
Show Author Affiliations
Victor A. Vilnrotter, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Chi-Wung Lau, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Meera Srinivasan, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
R. Mukai, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
K. Andrews, Jet Propulsion Lab. (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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