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Proceedings Paper

Performance evaluation of a liquid crystal beam-steering/beam-spoiling device developed for space communication applications
Author(s): Bernhard Wandernoth; Paul J. Oleski
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Paper Abstract

For inter satellite cross links the use of optical communications technology has the potential of reducing the size, weight and power consumption of current rf communication terminals. Since the electromechanical hardware for pointing, acquisition and tracking i.e. mirrors, motors and actuators are counter productive to these goals, several technologies for non- mechanical beam steering and beam diverging have been developed as an alternative. This paper describes a nematic liquid crystal phased array which is capable of simultaneously steering and diverging a laser beam. Characteristics such as insertion loss, steer range, steering speed are considered for the application of optical satellite communication. Since liquid crystals respond very slowly to a change in drive voltage, methods for increasing the speed were investigated. A series of measurements was performed to evaluate an optimized drive algorithm. As a result of these measurements ideas for an improved design are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 April 1996
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2699, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies VIII, (22 April 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.238426
Show Author Affiliations
Bernhard Wandernoth, DLR (Germany)
Paul J. Oleski, Air Force Rome Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2699:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies VIII
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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