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Applied Optics

Applied Optics

APPLICATIONS-CENTERED RESEARCH IN OPTICS

  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 48, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 2009
  • pp: A98–A106

Experimental comparison of tracking algorithms in the presence of aircraft boundary-layer distortions for emulated free-space laser communication links

Ross A. Conrad, Robert J. Murphy, Timothy H. Williams, William E. Wilcox, Steven Michael, and Jeffrey M. Roth  »View Author Affiliations


Applied Optics, Vol. 48, Issue 1, pp. A98-A106 (2009)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.48.000A98


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Abstract

We report experiments comparing different focal plane array (FPA) tracking algorithms for emulated laser communication links between an aircraft and spacecraft. The links include look-angle-dependent phase disturbances caused by boundary-layer turbulence replicated by using a deformable mirror. Impairments from platform jitter, atmospheric scintillation, and propagation delay are also included. We study a hyperhemispherical dome geometry that provides a large field of regard but generates boundary-layer turbulence. Results from experiments comparing peak and centroid FPA tracking algorithms in various environments show that power delivered to the optical fiber varies with algorithm and look angle. An improvement in steady-state fiber-coupled power of up to 1.0 dB can be achieved through appropriate choice of algorithm. In a real system, this advantage could be realized by implementing a tracking processor that dynamically changes its tracking algorithm depending on look angle and other parameters correlated to boundary-layer turbulence.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1330) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric turbulence
(060.2605) Fiber optics and optical communications : Free-space optical communication

History
Original Manuscript: September 4, 2008
Revised Manuscript: November 17, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: November 18, 2008
Published: December 24, 2008

Citation
Ross A. Conrad, Robert J. Murphy, Timothy H. Williams, William E. Wilcox, Steven Michael, and Jeffrey M. Roth, "Experimental comparison of tracking algorithms in the presence of aircraft boundary-layer distortions for emulated free-space laser communication links," Appl. Opt. 48, A98-A106 (2009)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?URI=ao-48-1-A98


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References

  1. R. Parenti, R. J. Sasiela, L. C. Andrews, and R. L. Phillips, “Modeling the PDF for the irradiance of an uplink beam in the presence of beam wander,” Proc. SPIE 6215, 621508(2006). [CrossRef]
  2. “ThermaCAM” (FLIR Systems, 2004) (product brochure).
  3. S. G. Lambert and W. L. Casey, Laser Communications in Space (Artech House, 1995), Chap. 3.
  4. M. Belen'kii, K. Hughes, T. Brinkley, and J. Oldenettel, “Residual turbulent scintillation effect and impact of turbulence on Fourier telescopy system,” Proc. SPIE 5160, 56-67(2004). [CrossRef]
  5. R. A. Conrad, W. E. Wilcox, T. H. Williams, S. Michael, and J. M. Roth (MIT Lincoln Laboratory, 244 Wood Street, Lexington, Mass. 02420, USA) are preparing a manuscript to be called “Emulation of boundary-layer turbulence on aircraft laser communication terminals using a deformable mirror” (jroth@ll.mit.edu).
  6. J. L. Devore, “Tests and confidence intervals for a difference between two population means,” in Probability and Statistics for Engineering and the Sciences (Brooks/Cole, 2004), Sec. 9.1z, pp. 361-71.
  7. R. A. Conrad, “Impact of the boundary layer on pointing and tracking in airborne free-space laser communication links,” Master's dissertation (MIT, Aeronautics and Astronautics Department, 2008).

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