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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 34, Iss. 33 — Nov. 20, 1995
  • pp: 7742–7751

Optical scintillations and fade statistics for a satellite-communication system

L. C. Andrews, R. L. Phillips, and P. T. Yu  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 34, Issue 33, pp. 7742-7751 (1995)

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Estimates of the scintillation index, fractional fade time, expected number of fades, and mean duration of fade time associated with a propagating Gaussian-beam wave are developed for uplink and downlink laser satellite-communication channels. Estimates for the spot size of the beam at the satellite or the ground or airborne receiver are also provided. Weak-fluctuation theory based on the log-normal model is applicable for intensity fluctuations near the optical axis of the beam provided that the zenith angle is not too large, generally not exceeding 60°. However, there is an increase in scintillations that occurs with increasing pointing error at any zenith angle, particularly for uplink channels. Large off-axis scintillations are of particular significance because they imply that small pointing errors can cause serious degradation in the communication-channel reliability. Off-axis scintillations increase more rapidly for larger-diameter beams and, in some cases, can lead to a radial saturation effect for pointing errors less than 1 μrad off the optical beam axis.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: May 1, 1995
Revised Manuscript: July 27, 1995
Published: November 20, 1995

L. C. Andrews, R. L. Phillips, and P. T. Yu, "Optical scintillations and fade statistics for a satellite-communication system," Appl. Opt. 34, 7742-7751 (1995)

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