Proceedings PaperElectrooptic Gigahertz CO2 Laser Modulator
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A space-qualifiable broadband electrooptic phase modulator for CO2 laser intersatellite communication (wavelength 10.6 µm) was developed under ESA-contract. Eight Cadmium-Telluride crystals measuring 30 x 0.6 x 0.6 mm3 each were cascaded to yield a total active length of 240 mm. These crystals were embedded in a beryllia structure, designed to combine good heat transfer, high mechanical accuracy, and excellent electrical properties. Measured modulator characteristics are: optical transmittance > 80%, electrical bandwidth 2 GHz, maximum VSWR 1.75:1, modulation efficiency (at 20 W RF drive power) 1/8, modulation frequency response ±1 dB up to 1 GHz.