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Proceedings Paper

Experimental analysis of the effects of atmospheric turbulence on a 29- km free-space laser communication link
Author(s): Vladimir Nikulin; John Malowicki; Vijit Bedi; David Hughes; Herbert Bloss
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Paper Abstract

Laser beams propagating through the atmosphere are affected by optical turbulence, whose static and dynamic properties can be characterized by spatial and temporal fields of the refractive index. The resulting wave front distortions lead to performance degradation in the form of reduced signal power and increased bit-error-rates (BER), even in short links; however, it is impossible to obtain closed-form solutions for instantaneous realizations of these distortions and all the subsequent events. Instead, the statistical properties of the refractive index fluctuations can be studied using one of the well-known spectral models and extended further into the scintillation analysis and analysis of communication performance. From a practical stand point, it would be very advantageous to relate the expected system performance to specific factors responsible for wave front distortions, which are typically linked to some weather variables, such as the air temperature, pressure, wind speed, etc. In this paper, we present the results of a detailed experimental study, where some of these relationships are mathematically justified based on the tests conducted over a period of several months. The measurement data was obtained using a 29-km free-space laser communication link established between two fixed-point terminals and operating at a wavelength of 1550 nm.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 2011
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7923, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XXIII, 79230P (1 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.874279
Show Author Affiliations
Vladimir Nikulin, Binghamton Univ. (United States)
John Malowicki, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Vijit Bedi, Binghamton Univ. (United States)
David Hughes, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Herbert Bloss, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7923:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XXIII
Hamid Hemmati, Editor(s)

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