OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 37, Iss. 21 — Jul. 20, 1998
  • pp: 4553–4560

Horizontal line-of-sight turbulence over near-ground paths and implications for adaptive optics corrections in laser communications

B. Martin Levine, Elizabeth A. Martinsen, Allan Wirth, Andrew Jankevics, Manuel Toledo-Quinones, Frank Landers, and Theresa L. Bruno  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 37, Issue 21, pp. 4553-4560 (1998)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (802 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Atmospheric turbulence over long horizontal paths perturbs phase and can also cause severe intensity scintillation in the pupil of an optical communications receiver, which limits the data rate over which intensity-based modulation schemes can operate. The feasibility of using low-order adaptive optics by applying phase-only corrections over horizontal propagation paths is investigated. A Shack–Hartmann wave-front sensor was built and data were gathered on paths 1 m above ground and between a 1- and 2.5-km range. Both intensity fluctuations and optical path fluctuation statistics were gathered within a single frame, and the wave-front reconstructor was modified to allow for scintillated data. The temporal power spectral density for various Zernike polynomial modes was used to determine the effects of the expected corrections by adaptive optics. The slopes of the inertial subrange of turbulence were found to be less than predicted by Kolmogorov theory with an infinite outer scale, and the distribution of variance explained by increasing order was also found to be different. Statistical analysis of these data in the 1-km range indicates that at communications wavelengths of 1.3 μm, a significant improvement in transmitted beam quality could be expected most of the time, to a performance of 10% Strehl ratio or better.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1330) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric turbulence
(010.7350) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Wave-front sensing
(060.4510) Fiber optics and optical communications : Optical communications
(120.5050) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Phase measurement

Original Manuscript: September 22, 1997
Revised Manuscript: January 28, 1998
Published: July 20, 1998

B. Martin Levine, Elizabeth A. Martinsen, Allan Wirth, Andrew Jankevics, Manuel Toledo-Quinones, Frank Landers, and Theresa L. Bruno, "Horizontal line-of-sight turbulence over near-ground paths and implications for adaptive optics corrections in laser communications," Appl. Opt. 37, 4553-4560 (1998)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. P. R. Barbier, P. Polak-Dingels, D. W. Rush, D. M. Rosser, G. L. Burdge, R. W. Barnett, “A terrestrial laser communication link at 1.3 μm with quadrature amplitude modulation,” in Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies VIII, G. S. Mecherle, ed., Proc. SPIE2699, 103–113 (1996). [CrossRef]
  2. D. R. Wisely, M. J. McCullagh, P. L. Earley, P. P. Symth, D. Luthra, E. C. DeMiranda, R. Cole, “4-km terrestrial line-of-sight optical free-space link operating at 155 Mbit/s,” in Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies VI, G. S. Mecherle, ed., Proc. SPIE2123, 108–119 (1994). [CrossRef]
  3. C. A. Primmerman, T. R. Price, R. A. Humphreys, B. G. Zollars, H. T. Barclay, J. Herrmann, “Atmospheric compensation experiments in strong-scintillation conditions,” Appl. Opt. 34, 2081–2088 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. E. E. Silbaugh, B. M. Welsh, M. Roggemmann, “Characterization of atmospheric turbulence phase statistics using wave-front slope measurements,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 13, 2453–2460 (1996). [CrossRef]
  5. F. Roddier, M. Northcott, J. E. Graves, “A simple low-order adaptive optics system for near-infrared applications,” Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. 103, 131–149 (1991). [CrossRef]
  6. F. J. Roddier, J. Anuskiewicz, J. E. Graves, M. J. Northcott, C. A. Roddier, “Adaptive optics at the University of Hawaii I: current performance at the telescope,” in Adaptive Optics in Astronomy, M. A. Ealey, F. Merkle, eds., Proc. SPIE2201, 2–9 (1994). [CrossRef]
  7. F. Roddier, “The effects of atmospheric turbulence in optical astronomy,” in Progress in Optics, E. Wolf, ed. (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1980), Chap. 5, p. 353.
  8. D. L. Fried, “Optical resolution through a randomly inhomogeneous medium for very long and very short exposures,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 1372–1379 (1966). [CrossRef]
  9. R. K. Tyson, Principles of Adaptive Optics (Academic, New York, 1991), p. 33.
  10. R. R. Beland, “Propagation through atmospheric optical turbulence,” in Atmospheric Propagation of Radiation, F. G. Smith, ed., Vol. 2, of The Infrared and Electro-Optics Systems Handbook Series (Environmental Research Institute of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1993), Chap. 2, Subsec. 2.4.2.
  11. LINUX is a UNIX-line operating system for Intel-based personal computers. It is freely distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. More information can be found at the LINUX Documentation Project web site: http://confused.ume.maine.edu/mdw/ .
  12. P. Alexander, L. F. Gladden, “How to create an X-window interface to GNUplot and FORTRAN programs using the Tcl/Tk toolkit,” Comput. Phys. 9, 57–64 (1995).
  13. B. B. Welsh, Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk, (Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J., 1995).
  14. M. Bester, W. C. Danchi, C. G. Degiacomi, L. J. Greenhill, C. H. Townes, “Atmospheric fluctuations: empirical structure functions and projected performance of future instruments,” Astrophys. J. 392, 357–374 (1992). [CrossRef]
  15. D. M. Winker, “Effect of finite outer scale on the Zernike decomposition of atmospheric optical turbulence,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 8, 1568–1573 (1991). [CrossRef]
  16. Ref. 10, Chap. 2, Subsec. 2.3.4.
  17. W. Southwell, “Wave-front estimation from wave-front slope measurements,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 70, 998–1006 (1980). [CrossRef]
  18. J. Herrmann, “Least-squares wave front errors of minimum norm,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 70, 28–34 (1980). [CrossRef]
  19. P. Wesseling, “Linear multigrid methods,” in Multigrid Methods, S. F. McCormick, ed. (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Philadelphia, Pa., 1987), Chap. 1. [CrossRef]
  20. R. J. Noll, “Zernike polynomials and atmospheric turbulence,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 66, 207–211 (1976). [CrossRef]
  21. J. W. Goodman, Statistical Optics (Wiley, New York, 1985, Sec. 3.3.
  22. C. B. Hogge, R. R. Butts, “Frequency spectra for the geometric representation of wavefront distortions due to atmospheric turbulence,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag. AP-24, 144–154 (1976). [CrossRef]
  23. F. Roddier, M. J. Northcott, J. E. Graves, D. L. McKenna, D. Roddier, “One-dimensional spectra of turbulence-induced Zernike aberrations: time-delay and isoplanicity error in partial adaptive compensation,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 10, 957–965 (1993). [CrossRef]
  24. Ref. 21, Subsec. 8.4.2.
  25. D. Dayton, B. Pierson, B. Spielbusch, J. Gonglewski, “Atmospheric structure function measurements with a Shack–Hartmann wave-front sensor,” Opt. Lett. 17, 1737–1739 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited