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Proceedings Paper

Design and implementation of pan-tilt FSO transceiver gimbals for real-time compensation of platform disturbances using a secondary control network
Author(s): John Rzasa; Stuart D. Milner; Christopher C. Davis
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Paper Abstract

Free-space optical (FSO) systems are known for providing data rates much higher than RF based systems, however their narrow beams require a method to keep the transceivers precisely aligned. To date, most systems have used a combination of coarse pointing platforms and fast steering mirrors tied to a feedback loop based on received optical power to accomplish this. This method can encounter problems if the alignment of one of the transceivers is disrupted or obstructed. In this paper, we present an approach to mitigating this problem using a low data-rate, omni-directional RF network that disseminates pointing commands to all platforms in the network, thereby if the main FSO channels are disrupted, the network can recover faster than a purely received signal strength (RSS) based approach. Utilizing custommade high precision direct drive servo pan-tilt platforms coupled with position and orientation sensors, we can calculate the appropriate pointing angles for all the transceiver platforms, which are then relayed over the control network. We present theoretical calculations regarding the required performance specifications of the control network and pan-tiltplatforms. Experimental results are then presented for a link where one transceiver is mounted on a coarse vibration platform to simulate disturbances in a real network.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8162, Free-Space and Atmospheric Laser Communications XI, 81620E (15 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.896263
Show Author Affiliations
John Rzasa, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
Stuart D. Milner, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
Christopher C. Davis, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8162:
Free-Space and Atmospheric Laser Communications XI
Arun K. Majumdar; Christopher C. Davis, Editor(s)

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