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Proceedings Paper

Airborne Laser Communications Scintillation Measurements And Model: A Comparison Of Results
Author(s): Robert J. Feldmann; Steven K. Rogers
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Paper Abstract

Successful design of an atmospheric laser communications terminal requires an understanding of atmospheric turbulence induced scintillation of the optical signal. Laser beam scintillation is small scale interference within the beam cross section due to turbulence induced fluctuations of the refractive index of the atmosphere, causing variations in the spatial power density at the receiver. The variations in the spatial power density at the receiver manifest themselves as fades and surges of the detected optical signal. By understanding the statistics and power spectrum of the fades and surges, communication terminals can be designed to achieve needed levels of performance by employing optimized choices of increased link margin and error coding. As part of the HAVE LACE (Laser Airborne Communications Experiment) program, optical scintillation data was collected and analyzed. The results from this analysis will aid in the future determination of the degree of scintillation, and the effect on communications performance. The HAVE LACE terminals use direct detection of pulsed laser energy; therefore, the random variations in the received signal strength can be used to evaluate the atmospheric turbulence induced amplitude scintillations. The collected data has been reduced and compared with a model for the air-to-air communications channel. The objective of the analysis was to verify the performance of the model against the collected data. The results are presented in a form consistent with a straightforward understanding of the effects on communications performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 May 1988
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0885, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies, (2 May 1988); doi: 10.1117/12.976545
Show Author Affiliations
Robert J. Feldmann, Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laboratories (United States)
Steven K. Rogers, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0885:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies
David L. Begley; Gerhard A. Koepf, Editor(s)

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