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Proceedings Paper

Measurement Of Pointing Error Distributions In Tracking Loops Of Optical Intersatellite Links
Author(s): T. M. Duncan; T. H. Ebben
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Paper Abstract

Optical intersatellite links use a beacon beam sent from a remote terminal and tracked by a home terminal to keep an information bearing beam sent by home pointed directly at the remote. Noise and mechanical disturbances at home induce pointing errors in the track loop, causing a loss of optical signal seen at the remote, adversely affecting data transmission reliability. This paper describes an experiment which measures the statistical and time-varying properties of this pointing error. A tracking loop was assembled from a high-speed fine-steer-ing mirror (FSM), lens, and an avalanche quadrant cell (AQC). A collimated IR diode laser provides illumination, and a second quadrant cell monitors pointing error. Actual intersatellite link (ISL) criteria was used in the design and implementation of the system. Measured pointing error distributions (PED) tend to look Gaussian as theory suggests. Disturbances in orthogonal axes are statistically independent, resulting in Rayleigh radial distributions, except at frequencies where structural modes are present in the FSM. Anomalies in the PED are attributed to seismic and acoustical mechanical disturbances.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 1987
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0756, Optical Technologies for Space Communication Systems, (3 June 1987); doi: 10.1117/12.940024
Show Author Affiliations
T. M. Duncan, Ball Aerospace Systems Division (United States)
T. H. Ebben, Ball Aerospace Systems Division (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0756:
Optical Technologies for Space Communication Systems
Kul B. Bhasin; Gerhard A. Koepf, Editor(s)

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