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Proceedings Paper

Assessment of eye hazard associated with an optical downlink in free-space laser communications
Author(s): Morio Toyoshima; Takashi Jono; Toshihiko Yamawaki; Keizo Nakagawa; Akio Yamamoto
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Paper Abstract

An optical downlink is a method for high data-rate communication for downloading data acquired by a satellite to terrestrial networks. However, directing a laser beam at the ground may not be safe for the eyes of human observers when such irradiance is higher than the maximum permissible exposure (MPE). The MPE is an index of acceptable irradiance for eye safety as a function of the duration that human eyes are exposed to a laser beam. The hazard level of free-space laser communication systems should be examined with regard to eye safety. The probability that irradiance exceeds the MPE can be considered statistically based on the characteristics of the laser tracking and transmission system in the acquisition and tracking phases. As an example, the probabilities calculated from the results of a thermal vacuum test with the laser communications terminal onboard the OICETS satellite were used to assess the risk of impairing eye safety. As a result, the irradiance of the laser beam directed from the satellite to the ground can be evaluated relative to the permissible irradiance level for the eyes of general human observers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 June 2001
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4272, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XIII, (20 June 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.430783
Show Author Affiliations
Morio Toyoshima, National Space Development Agency of Japan (Japan)
Takashi Jono, National Space Development Agency of Japan (Japan)
Toshihiko Yamawaki, National Space Development Agency of Japan (Japan)
Keizo Nakagawa, National Space Development Agency of Japan (Japan)
Akio Yamamoto, National Space Development Agency of Japan (Japan)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4272:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XIII
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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