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Proceedings Paper

Aperture averaging analysis and aperture shape invariance of received scintillation in free-space optical communication links
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Paper Abstract

Intensity scintillation and beam wander caused by atmospheric turbulence are two significant phenomena that affect free space optical (FSO) communication links. We have constructed an imaging system for measuring the effects of atmospheric turbulence and obscuration on FSO links. A He-Ne laser beam propagates over a range of 863 meters in atmospheric turbulence conditions that vary diurnally and seasonally from weak to strong. A high performance digital camera with a frame-grabbing computer interface is used to capture received laser intensity distributions at rates up to 30 frames per second and various short shutter speeds, down to 1/16,000s per frame. The captured image frames are analyzed in Labview to evaluate the turbulence index parameter, temporal and spatial intensity variances, and aperture averaging. The aperture averaging results demonstrate the expected reduction in intensity fluctuations with increasing aperture diameter, and show quantitatively the differences in behavior between various strengths of turbulence. This paper will present the most accurate empirical data to date for the weak and intermediate turbulence regime. Such results can help build upon existing empirical data and lead to the development of new theories. Aperture averaging of the received irradiance is also shown to be independent of the shape of the receiver aperture, and depends only on its area. This finding allows the use of refractive or catadioptric receivers, whichever is convenient, and the same amount of aperture averaging will be achieved for equal unobscured aperture areas. This can make the telescope design for an FSO receiver more compact.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 2006
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6304, Free-Space Laser Communications VI, 63041E (1 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.679584
Show Author Affiliations
Heba Yuksel, Bogazici Univ. (Turkey)
Christopher C. Davis, Univ. of Maryand, College Park (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6304:
Free-Space Laser Communications VI
Arun K. Majumdar; Christopher C. Davis, Editor(s)

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