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Proceedings Paper

Multiple quantum well based modulating retroreflectors for inter- and intra-spacecraft communication
Author(s): Peter G. Goetz; William S. Rabinovich; G. Charmaine Gilbreath; Rita Mahon; Mike S. Ferraro; Lee Swingen; Robert J. Walters; Scott R. Messenger; Linda M. Wasiczko; James Murphy; N. Glenn Creamer; Harris R. Burris; Mena F. Stell; Christopher I. Moore; Steven C. Binari; D. S. Katzer
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Paper Abstract

Free space optics (FSO) can provide high data rates with efficient use of power. However, small platforms may not be able to support the payload requirements of a conventional FSO terminal. An alternative FSO terminal uses a modulating retro-reflector (MRR). MRRs shift most of the power, weight, and pointing requirements to one end of the link. With a MRR configuration, it is possible to establish a two-way FSO link using a single laser transmitter. The MRR terminal of these systems can be small, lightweight, and low power. The MRR maintains the small beam divergence of a conventional optical communications link, but gains the loose pointing advantage of an RF link, reducing the pointing requirements. Communication needs in space present many asymmetric scenarios in which a MRR architecture could be beneficial. This paper describes some of the current capabilities and limitations of MRR systems, as well as applications to space links. An evaluation of the radiation tolerance of modulators is presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 August 2006
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6308, Photonics for Space Environments XI, 63080A (29 August 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.694907
Show Author Affiliations
Peter G. Goetz, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
William S. Rabinovich, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
G. Charmaine Gilbreath, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Rita Mahon, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Mike S. Ferraro, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Lee Swingen, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Robert J. Walters, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Scott R. Messenger, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Linda M. Wasiczko, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
James Murphy, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
N. Glenn Creamer, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Harris R. Burris, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Mena F. Stell, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Christopher I. Moore, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Steven C. Binari, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
D. S. Katzer, Naval Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6308:
Photonics for Space Environments XI
Edward W. Taylor, Editor(s)

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