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Proceedings Paper

Optimized link model for optical communications through clouds
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Paper Abstract

The effects of clouds on optical down-links (satellite to ground) have been recognized by a variety of authors. Generally the approach taken for dealing with these effects is to seek statistics on the “cloud-free line of sight.” In contrast, our approach has been to develop a model that incorporates the effects of clouds on the performance of an optical communication system. We previously reported on the use of existing cloud data bases together with a radiative transport model to describe the spatio-temporal spreading effects of multiple scatter. In addition to the cloud optical properties, the communication channel model incorporates various geometrical features such as cloud base, detector aperture, field of view (FOV), and transmitter beam size. We illustrate how manipulation of the various model parameters allows optimization of the communication system. As an example, we note that the signal level increases with FOV. However, so too does pulse stretching. Competition between these two effects (greater signal level, lower allowable bandwidth) leads to an optimum FOV. This FOV, which maximizes the error-free data rate, depends in turn on the optical thickness of the cloud. Finally, consideration of the cloud statistics provides an optimum system design for a given geographical location.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 October 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5550, Free-Space Laser Communications IV, (20 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.549647
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel V. Hahn, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Donald D. Duncan, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5550:
Free-Space Laser Communications IV
Jennifer C. Ricklin; David G. Voelz, Editor(s)

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