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Proceedings Paper

Development of laser beam transmission strategies for future ground-to-space optical communications
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Paper Abstract

Optical communications is a key technology to meet the bandwidth expansion required in the global information grid. High bandwidth bi-directional links between sub-orbital platforms and ground and space terminals can provide a seamless interconnectivity for rapid return of critical data to analysts. The JPL Optical Communications Telescope Laboratory (OCTL) is located in Wrightwood California at an altitude of 2.2.km. This 200 sq-m facility houses a state-of- the-art 1-m telescope and is used to develop operational strategies for ground-to-space laser beam propagation that include safe beam transmission through navigable air space, adaptive optics correction and multi-beam scintillation mitigation, and line of sight optical attenuation monitoring. JPL has received authorization from international satellite owners to transmit laser beams to more than twenty retro-reflecting satellites. This paper presents recent progress in the development of these operational strategies tested by narrow laser beam transmissions from the OCTL to retro-reflecting satellites. We present experimental results and compare our measurements with predicted performance for a variety of atmospheric conditions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2007
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 6551, Atmospheric Propagation IV, 65510B (4 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.720803
Show Author Affiliations
Keith E. Wilson, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Joseph Kovalik, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Abhijit Biswas, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
William Roberts, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6551:
Atmospheric Propagation IV
Cynthia Y. Young; G. Charmaine Gilbreath, Editor(s)

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