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Proceedings Paper

Atmospheric laser communication system with wide-angle tracking and adaptive compensation
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Paper Abstract

An adaptive laser communication system capable of minimizing the impact of atmospherically induced tip-tilt and defocus distortions and tracking an optical antenna mounted on a mobile platform is presented. The laser communication system consists of two independently operating adaptive optical transceivers mounted on wide angle pan-tilt gimbals that each transmit and receive optical data propagating on a single bidirectional laser beam. Each optical antenna incorporates a 3-channel tip-tilt and defocus adaptive mirror constructed at the Army Research Laboratory. The adaptive mirror control system of each optical transceiver is based on phase control of the outgoing wavefront by stochastic parallel gradient descent optimization of the optical power received by the other optical transceiver. A tracking capability of an optical transceiver mounted on a mobile platform is implemnted by using the pan-tilt control signals of each adaptive mirror to define signals that drive the pan-tilt axes of the gimbal on which the adaptive mirror is mounted. System performance in the presence of laboratory generated turbulence is characterized and reported. Results demonstrate that the adaptive laser communication system can reduce signal fading induced by atmospheric tip-tilt distortions and improve the concentration of laser beam energy delivered to each optical transceiver and therefore reduce system bit error rates.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5892, Free-Space Laser Communications V, 589211 (13 September 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.618363
Show Author Affiliations
G. W. Carhart, Army Research Lab. (United States)
M. A. Vorontsov, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Univ. of Maryland/College Park (United States)
L. A. Beresnev, Army Research Lab. (United States)
P. S. Paicopolis, Army Research Lab. (United States)
F. K. Beil, Army Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5892:
Free-Space Laser Communications V
David G. Voelz; Jennifer C. Ricklin, Editor(s)

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