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Proceedings Paper

High-speed laser communications in UAV scenarios
Author(s): Wolfgang Griethe; Mark Gregory; Frank Heine; Hartmut Kämpfner
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Paper Abstract

Optical links, based on coherent homodyne detection and BPSK modulation with bidirectional data transmission of 5.6 Gbps over distances of about 5,000 km and BER of 10-8, have been sufficiently verified in space. The verification results show that this technology is suitable not only for space applications but also for applications in the troposphere. After a brief description of the Laser Communication Terminal (LCT) for space applications, the paper consequently discusses the future utilization of satellite-based optical data links for Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) operations of High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). It is shown that the use of optical frequencies is the only logical consequence of an ever-increasing demand for bandwidth. In terms of Network Centric Warfare it is highly recommended that Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) of the future should incorporate that technology which allows almost unlimited bandwidth. The advantages of optical communications especially for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) are underlined. Moreover, the preliminary design concept of an airborne laser communication terminal is described. Since optical bi-directional links have been tested between a LCT in space and a TESAT Optical Ground Station (OGS), preliminary analysis on tracking and BER performance and the impact of atmospheric disturbances on coherent links will be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 May 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8020, Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems and Applications VIII, 80200B (25 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.884274
Show Author Affiliations
Wolfgang Griethe, Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
Mark Gregory, Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
Frank Heine, Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
Hartmut Kämpfner, Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8020:
Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems and Applications VIII
Daniel J. Henry; Beato T. Cheng; Dale C. Linne von Berg; Darrell L. Young, Editor(s)

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