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Proceedings Paper

Bit error rate performance of a free space optical link using double clad fibers
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Paper Abstract

Mobile and embedded applications are emerging in the growing field of free space optical links (FSOL). Some mobile applications for FSOL include spacecraft, aircraft, and automotive. These applications by nature require low size weight and power (SWaP) solutions. The main challenge with any FSOL system is the strict pointing requirements. Common solutions to pointing and alignment of FSOL include gimbals, fast steering mirrors, and adaptive optics. All of which provide viable solutions at the cost of increased SWaP. Previously, we presented the use of both large core fibers and double clad fibers (DCF) to interface FSOL transmit and receive optics with small form factor pluggable optical transceivers (SFP). Double clad fibers have been shown to enable a common optical path by transmitting through a single mode core and receiving through a large inner cladding. This enables a single set of symmetric transmit and receive optics, which decreases the SWaP. In addition, using DCF increases the received power stability of the link relative to a multimode fiber (MMF) transmitting. To determine the viability of the system, bit error rate performance needs to be investigated. The results of this paper show that at a bit rate of 10 Gbps, double clad fibers offer similar bit error rate performance to single mode fibers when transmitting and multi-mode fibers when receiving enabling a symmetric duplex FSOL reducing SWaP.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 March 2019
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10910, Free-Space Laser Communications XXXI, 1091004 (4 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2510234
Show Author Affiliations
Joseph Sullivan, The Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
Bryan Schoenholz, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
Sarah Tedder, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10910:
Free-Space Laser Communications XXXI
Hamid Hemmati; Don M. Boroson, Editor(s)

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