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Proceedings Paper

Using a GPS-aided inertial system for coarse-pointing of free-space optical communication terminals
Author(s): Bernhard Epple
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Paper Abstract

In the Capanina project, it has been shown that it is possible to use solely GPS positions for coarse-pointing of a stratospheric free-space optical communication terminal. Although this system design has been shown to be functional, it has to deal with acquisition and reacquisition times of up to 20 seconds. Whenever the line of sight is blocked, the Capanina terminal has to do a reacquisition of the partner terminal. In land-mobile systems, e.g. transmission between a moving vehicle and a fixed station, where objects like trees or buildings can frequently block the line of sight, this type of acquisition/reacquisition is not acceptable. In this paper a revised system design will be shown, which reduces the initial acquisition time to below a second by using information from a GPS-Aided Inertial System (GPS-INS). It will also be shown how reacquisition times and coarse-pointing errors can be reduced to a minimum by using feedback from the optical fine-pointing device. Finally a demonstrator setup and some test results will be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6304, Free-Space Laser Communications VI, 630418 (1 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.680502
Show Author Affiliations
Bernhard Epple, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)

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

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