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Proceedings Paper

Statistical properties of a short analog RF free-space optical link
Author(s): F. Bucholtz; H. R. Burris Jr.; C. I. Moore; C. S. McDermitt; R. Mahon; M. R. Suite; J. V. Michalowicz; G. C. Gilbreath; W. S. Rabinovich
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Paper Abstract

Free-space optical (FSO) links typically carry digital data over short to moderate distances (100m - 50 km). From a military perspective, FSO links have the advantages of low probability of interception, inherent anti-jam capability and a reasonable degree of covertness. In certain applications it is desirable to minimize size, weight and power of the transmitter and this pushes the designer to eliminate power-hungry digitizers and to transmit raw analog, instead of digital, information. However, the transmission of analog signals presents significant technical challenges due to strong fluctuations in received optical power resulting from atmospheric turbulence. In this case the standard RF link properties of gain, noise factor, and linearity must be described entirely in statistical terms. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results from a short (500m), single-tone, 5 MHz analog FSO link and compare the data to theoretical predictions. Theory suggests, and our preliminary experimental results confirm, that the statistical properties of all the RF performance metrics of a FSO analog link are determined entirely by the statistical properties of the received optical power. We show that the distribution of values of RF link parameters can be obtained directly from the distribution of received optical power, without the need for modeling the received power with a continuous function.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 May 2009
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7324, Atmospheric Propagation VI, 73240D (2 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.818153
Show Author Affiliations
F. Bucholtz, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
H. R. Burris Jr., Naval Research Lab. (United States)
C. I. Moore, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
C. S. McDermitt, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
R. Mahon, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
M. R. Suite, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
J. V. Michalowicz, Global Strategies Group, North America, Inc. (United States)
G. C. Gilbreath, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
W. S. Rabinovich, Naval Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7324:
Atmospheric Propagation VI
Linda M. Wasiczko Thomas; G. Charmaine Gilbreath, Editor(s)

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