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Proceedings Paper

Nonlinear optical tracking for high-speed free-space communications
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Paper Abstract

High-speed free-space communications have been increasingly studied for applications ranging from short-distance ground-to-ground transmissions to inter-spacecraft links. Optical communications involving moving parties, especially at extra-long distances, require precise beam pointing and mutual tracking of communicating transceivers. The design concept and preliminary test results of a free-space communicator incorporating novel nonlinear optical tracking subsystem are presented. The development goal is to demonstrate a cost-effective terminal for Gbps optical links at a distance of up to 5 km. The tracking system consists of three subsystems: the coarse tracker (a 10.5 cm-diameter motorized Maksutov telescope); the electro-optical tracker (a voice-coil and a Si-based position detector); and the nonlinear optical fine tracker (a nonlinear cell with an IR-sensitive liquid crystal). Three-stage tracking allows for link budget improvement and maintaining a microradian pointing precision.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 October 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6390, Broadband Access Communication Technologies, 63900F (2 October 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.690600
Show Author Affiliations
Alexander E. Dudelzak, Canadian Space Agency (Canada)
Alexander S. Koujelev, Canadian Space Agency (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6390:
Broadband Access Communication Technologies
Raj Jain; Benjamin B. Dingel; Shozo Komaki; Shlomo Ovadia, Editor(s)

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