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Proceedings Paper

Atmospheric turbulence effects on a wavelength diversified ground-to-UAV FSO link
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Paper Abstract

The use of free-space optical (FSO) communications links are envisioned as a viable option for providing a temporary high-bandwidth communications link between a ground station and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The presence of atmospheric turbulence causes three different phenomena to occur, namely beam wander, scintillation and beam spread, each of which is a wavelength dependent phenomenon. In this paper, simulation tools are used to investigate the effects of atmospheric turbulence on a wavelength diversified ground-to-UAV FSO communications link. This paper compares the effects of atmospheric turbulence on three different wavelengths, 1.55 μm, 0.85 μm and 10 μm. Each of these wavelengths has different advantages depending on prevalent weather conditions and atmospheric turbulence conditions. Based on the effects of atmospheric turbulence on each wavelength, a wavelength diversity scheme is proposed in order to optimize the performance of the FSO link. The largest problem associated with establishing a ground-to-UAV FSO link is alignment and tracking of the FSO link. For this reason, the wavelength diversity scheme is further analyzed as a method to optimize link acquisition and tracking of the ground-to-UAV link by exploiting various characteristics of each wavelength.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 2006
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6105, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XVIII, 61050S (1 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.645423
Show Author Affiliations
Alan Harris, Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
James J. Sluss Jr., Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
Hazem H. Refai, Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
Peter G LoPresti, Univ. of Tulsa (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6105:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XVIII
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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