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Proceedings Paper

Arbitrary femtosecond optical pulse shaping with a liquid crystal spatial light modulator
Author(s): Matthew Royal; Belal Hamzeh; Mohsen Kavehrad; Sangwoo Lee
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Paper Abstract

Free space optical (FSO) communications technology has potential applications in the military sector to provide a secure, high speed communication channel, and in the civilian sector as a "last mile" carrier solution. It was proposed by other researchers that a multi-rate communication system that utilizes Meyer wavelets would achieve the greatest bandwidth and highest reliability possible for an FSO system. In order to generate Meyer wavelets from femtosecond laser pulses, filtering must be performed optically to produce the desired pulse shape. One of the simplest ways to produce an arbitrary pulse shape from a laser pulse is with a tunable liquid-crystal spatial light modulator (LC-SLM) in a zero-dispersion pulse compression system. The simplest approach to determine the correct mask pattern for an LC-SLM is to utilize adaptive, global optimization methods. Since it takes several milliseconds to adjust the attributes of each pixel of an LC-SLM and there are typically over one-thousand pixels, it is important to determine the fastest algorithm for determining the optimum mask pattern. Several global optimization methods, including simulated annealing, exhaustive search, and random search, a hybrid of the other two algorithms, were characterized. It was found that exhaustive search can be used to form waveforms with negligible inaccuracies at rates of about 5 times faster than simulated annealing and about 3 times faster than random search, but that simulated annealing provides the highest accuracy. However, the difference in accuracy between all of these algorithms is less than 10-5.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 October 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6389, Active and Passive Optical Components for Communications VI, 638913 (2 October 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.685638
Show Author Affiliations
Matthew Royal, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Belal Hamzeh, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Mohsen Kavehrad, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Sangwoo Lee, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6389:
Active and Passive Optical Components for Communications VI
Achyut K. Dutta; Yasutake Ohishi; Niloy K. Dutta; Jesper Moerk, Editor(s)

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