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Proceedings Paper

Direct-detection free-space laser transceiver test-bed
Author(s): Michael A. Krainak; Jeffrey R. Chen; Philip W. Dabney; Jeffrey F. Ferrara; Wai H. Fong; Anthony J. Martino; Jan F. McGarry; Stephen M. Merkowitz; Caleb M. Principe; Xiaoli Sun; Thomas W. Zagwodzki
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Paper Abstract

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is developing a direct-detection free-space laser communications transceiver test bed. The laser transmitter is a master-oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) configuration using a 1060 nm wavelength laser-diode with a two-stage multi-watt Ytterbium fiber amplifier. Dual Mach-Zehnder electro-optic modulators provide an extinction ratio greater than 40 dB. The MOPA design delivered 10-W average power with low-duty-cycle PPM waveforms and achieved 1.7 kW peak power. We use pulse-position modulation format with a pseudo-noise code header to assist clock recovery and frame boundary identification. We are examining the use of low-density-parity-check (LDPC) codes for forward error correction. Our receiver uses an InGaAsP 1 mm diameter photocathode hybrid photomultiplier tube (HPMT) cooled with a thermo-electric cooler. The HPMT has 25% single-photon detection efficiency at 1064 nm wavelength with a dark count rate of 60,000/s at -22 degrees Celsius and a single-photon impulse response of 0.9 ns. We report on progress toward demonstrating a combined laser communications and ranging field experiment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 February 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6877, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XX, 687703 (13 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.758654
Show Author Affiliations
Michael A. Krainak, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Jeffrey R. Chen, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Philip W. Dabney, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Jeffrey F. Ferrara, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Wai H. Fong, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Anthony J. Martino, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Jan F. McGarry, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Stephen M. Merkowitz, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Caleb M. Principe, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Xiaoli Sun, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Thomas W. Zagwodzki, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6877:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XX
Steve Mecherle, Editor(s)

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