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Proceedings Paper

Panoramic alignment system for optical wireless communication systems
Author(s): Thomas C. Shen; Robert J. Drost; John Rzasa; Brian M. Sadler; Christopher C. Davis
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Paper Abstract

Free space optical communication may provide a viable adjunct to radio frequency (RF) technology for mobile communications, especially in “RF-denied” settings in which RF-based communication may be prohibited or impractical. These settings may include military tactical environments or settings which suffer from RF jamming or interference. Unlike many RF communication systems, point-to-point optical communications between mobile nodes typically require establishing and maintaining alignment, which requires each node to have awareness of the locations of neighboring nodes. We propose a method to create this situational awareness between nodes using purely optical means. This method uses a camera that is focused on a hyperboloidal mirror, thus providing a 360-degree view of the surrounding environment. The camera and mirror are used to detect light emitted from the beacon transmitters from neighboring nodes, with the location of the beacon image in the sensor plane of the camera yielding elevation and azimuth information of the beacon. The beacon transmitter itself is modulated, allowing it to be distinguished from the environment. In discussing our experimental realization of this system, we assess its performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 March 2015
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9354, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXVII, 93540M (24 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2080091
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas C. Shen, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
Robert J. Drost, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
John Rzasa, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
Brian M. Sadler, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Christopher C. Davis, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9354:
Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXVII
Hamid Hemmati; Don M. Boroson, Editor(s)

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