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Proceedings Paper

Laser beam steering and tracking using a liquid crystal spatial light modulator
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Paper Abstract

A linear one-dimensional, 1x4096 pixel, zero-twist nematic liquid crystal spatial light modulator (SLM) was evaluated for laser beam steering and tracking applications. The commercially obtained SLM is designed to operate at, λ = 850 nm, allowing more than 2 π phase modulation. Due to voltage leakage the phase modulation experienced by the wave front differed from the ideal calculated phase patterns. This cross talk between pixels reduces the diffraction efficiency. Different methods developed to compensate for this effect are presented. The usable steering range of the SLM was extended to ± 2 degrees using improved phase patterns. A simple model was developed to simulate the optical effects of the voltage leakage. Preliminary tracking experiments were carried out in a laboratory set-up using a moving corner cube retro reflector. The beam steering SLM was implemented in a transceiver for free-space optical communication. Initial results using the transceiver up to 180 m range are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 August 2003
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5087, Laser Systems Technology, (21 August 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.486892
Show Author Affiliations
Emil Haellstig, Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Johan Stigwall, Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Mikael Lindgren, Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Lars Sjoqvist, Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5087:
Laser Systems Technology
William E. Thompson; Paul H. Merritt, Editor(s)

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