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Proceedings Paper

Laser communications for unmanned aircraft systems using differential GPS and IMU data
Author(s): Mariusz Czarnomski; Jason Blakely; Ziming Wang; Gregory Williamson; Richard R. Schultz; William H. Semke
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Paper Abstract

Free space laser communications provides wide bandwidth and high security capabilities to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in order to successfully accomplish Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions. A practical implementation of a laser-based video communications payload flown by a small UAS aircraft is described as a proof-of-concept. The two-axis gimbal pointing control algorithm calculates the line-of-sight vector in real-time by using differential GPS and IMU information gathered from the UAS vehicle's autopilot so that the laser transmitter in the airborne payload can accurately track a ground-based photodiode array receiver with a known GPS location. One of the future goals of the project is to move from UAS-to-ground communications to UAS-to-UAS free space laser communications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 February 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7587, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XXII, 758709 (26 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.842109
Show Author Affiliations
Mariusz Czarnomski, Univ. of North Dakota (United States)
Jason Blakely, Univ. of North Dakota (United States)
Ziming Wang, Univ. of North Dakota (United States)
Gregory Williamson, Univ. of North Dakota (United States)
Richard R. Schultz, Univ. of North Dakota (United States)
William H. Semke, Univ. of North Dakota (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7587:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XXII
Hamid Hemmati, Editor(s)

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