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Proceedings Paper

Time-dependent underwater optical propagation measurements using modulated light fields
Author(s): Linda Mullen; Alan Laux; Brandon Cochenour
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Paper Abstract

Optical imaging and optical communications systems are limited in the underwater environment due to optical scattering. For an imaging system, light that scatters back to the receiver before reaching an underwater object degrades image contrast. Light that scatters multiple times on its way to and from the object of interest tends to blur the image and further reduce its contrast. This forward-scattered light may also ultimately limit the bandwidth of a point-to-point optical communications link. While continuous wave sources with low frequency modulation (<100MHz) and pulsed sources with several nanosecond pulse durations have been used to mitigate the backscatter problem, little has been done to study the effect of higher modulation frequencies (>100MHz) or short (<2nsec) pulse durations on forward-scattered light. The challenge has been the lack of hardware and theoretical models required to examine events at these short time scales. Fortunately, short pulse and modulated pulse sources have now been developed, along with optical receivers with sufficient bandwidth and sensitivity to measure the response of the water to these sources. The purpose of this work is to use these tools to study the propagation of modulated light fields at frequencies up to 1GHz. Results from laboratory tank experiments and their impact on future underwater optical imaging and communications systems will be discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 April 2009
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7317, Ocean Sensing and Monitoring, 73170D (29 April 2009);
Show Author Affiliations
Linda Mullen, Naval Air Warfare Ctr. (United States)
Alan Laux, Naval Air Warfare Ctr. (United States)
Brandon Cochenour, Naval Air Warfare Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7317:
Ocean Sensing and Monitoring
Weilin (Will) Hou, Editor(s)

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