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Proceedings Paper

Low power MEMS modulating retroreflectors for optical communication
Author(s): Jason B. Stewart; David Freedman; Steven Cornelissen; Mark N. Horenstein; Peter Woskov; Jonathan Tang
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Paper Abstract

We report on the design, development and testing of a new low-power, light-weight and low-cost modulating retroreflector system for free-space covert optical communication and remote sensor interrogation. The central component of the system is a MEMS modulator mirror, which is physically similar to a very low modulation reflective diffraction grating that has actively controlled groove depth and can operate at frequencies up to 1MHz. One facet of the hollow corner cube retroreflector consists of the MEMS mirror, providing intensity modulation of a reflected interrogating beam by switching from an unpowered flat mirror state to a powered diffractive state. The system is optimized for performance at 1550nm and has a field of view of 60 degrees. For covert operation it uses "wake-up" circuitry to control a low-power shutter that remains closed between data transfers. The system's compact driver electronics employs power scavenging and resonant properties for minimal power consumption and extended autonomous operational life. Interrogation field test results for the modulating retroreflector will be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 February 2010
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 7595, MEMS Adaptive Optics IV, 759505 (18 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.844936
Show Author Affiliations
Jason B. Stewart, Boston Micromachines Corp. (United States)
David Freedman, Boston Univ. (United States)
Steven Cornelissen, Boston Micromachines Corp. (United States)
Mark N. Horenstein, Boston Univ. (United States)
Peter Woskov, Boston Micromachines Corp. (United States)
Jonathan Tang, Boston Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7595:
MEMS Adaptive Optics IV
Scot S. Olivier; Thomas G. Bifano; Joel A. Kubby, Editor(s)

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