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Proceedings Paper

Comparison of microwave and light wave communication systems in space applications
Author(s): Morio Toyoshima; Walter R. Leeb; Hiroo Kunimori; Tadashi Takano
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Paper Abstract

The performances of optical and radio frequency communication systems are compared for long distance applications, e.g. deep space communications, where the signal-to-noise ratio is crucial. We compare an optical communication system operating at 0.8 μm using intensity modulation and direct detection with an avalanche photodiode, an optical communication system operating at 1.5 μm using on-off keying and an optical preamplifier, and a radio frequency communication system operating in the X-band. Assuming typical system parameters for the link budget analysis, we find that for distances between the transmitting and receiving antennas (R) of 106 km the signal-to-noise ratios for the optical systems are proportional to R-4, and that for the radio frequency system is proportional to R-2. For distances beyond 107 km, the maximum data rate achievable with the radio frequency system is higher than that with the optical systems. For distances corresponding to low earth orbit links as well as for geostationary earth orbit links, an optical system with optical preamplification is preferable when the data rate is higher than several Gbit/s.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 October 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5962, Optical Design and Engineering II, 59621U (14 October 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.625153
Show Author Affiliations
Morio Toyoshima, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)
National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
Walter R. Leeb, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)
Hiroo Kunimori, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (Japan)
Next-generation Laser Communication Satellite Technology Research Center (NeLS), NICT (Japan)
Tadashi Takano, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA (Japan)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5962:
Optical Design and Engineering II
Laurent Mazuray; Rolf Wartmann, Editor(s)

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