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Proceedings Article

Integrated approach to airborne laser communication

[+] Author Affiliations
James A. Louthain, Jason D. Schmidt

Air Force Institute of Technology (USA)

Proc. SPIE 7108, Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems XI, 71080F (October 09, 2008); doi:10.1117/12.799877
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From Conference Volume 7108

  • Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems XI
  • Anton Kohnle; Karin Stein; John D. Gonglewski
  • Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom | September 15, 2008

abstract

Lasers offer tremendous advantages over RF communication systems in bandwidth and security, due to their ultrahigh frequency and narrow spatial beamwidth. Unfortunately, atmospheric turbulence causes severe received power variations and significant bit error rates (BERs) in free-space optical communication (FSOC). Airborne optical communication systems require special considerations in size, complexity, power, and weight. We alleviate the deleterious effects of turbulence by integrating multiple techniques into an on/off keying direct detection system. Wave optics simulations show a combination of transmitter diversity, receiver and transmitter trackers, and adaptive thresholding significantly reduces the BER in air-to-air FSOC (up to 13 dB). Two transmitters alone provide a significant BER improvement over one transmitter, especially for the strong turbulence regime with up to a 9 dB improvement. Two beams also provide a reduction in fade length, indicating they will probably provide even greater improvement with interleaving and forward error correction coding.

© (2008) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Citation

James A. Louthain and Jason D. Schmidt
"Integrated approach to airborne laser communication", Proc. SPIE 7108, Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems XI, 71080F (October 09, 2008); doi:10.1117/12.799877; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.799877


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