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Proceedings Paper

Free space optical alignment system using GPS
Author(s): Wee-Leong Saw; Hazem H. Refai; James J. Sluss
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents results from an ongoing effort at the University of Oklahoma to develop a real-time active alignment system for free-space optical communication system. An initial prototype of a FSO active alignment system using Global Positioning System (GPS) sensors, two gimbals, and point-to-point spread spectrum RF communication is described. The positions of both FSO transceivers are exchanged over the radio frequency (RF) communication link. A controller uses the exchanged information to calculate azimuth and elevation bearings to achieve initial alignment between the transceivers. The gimbals are used to steer the beams. The paper also presents a binary scan algorithm developed to expedite the initial alignment process. The algorithm incorporates power measurements as feed back to the original transceiver for comparison. In minimizing convergence time, simulation results confirm that the algorithm performs better than raster scan, spiral scan, and raster spiral scan algorithms, all of which are used in laser satellite communications. The results also show that the initial design is not able to achieve real-time alignment. For real-time alignment, different augmenting technologies (for example, steering mirrors) should be considered.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 April 2005
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5712, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XVII, (18 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.591226
Show Author Affiliations
Wee-Leong Saw, Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
Hazem H. Refai, Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
James J. Sluss, Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5712:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XVII
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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