An analysis of adaptive optics compensation for atmospheric-turbulence-induced scintillation is presented with the figure of merit being the laser communications bit-error rate. The formulation covers weak, moderate, and strong turbulence; on-off keying; and amplitude-shift keying, over horizontal propagation paths or on a ground-to-space uplink or downlink. The theory shows that under some circumstances the bit-error rate can be improved by a few orders of magnitude with the addition of adaptive optics to compensate for the scintillation. Low-order compensation (less than 40 Zernike modes) appears to be feasible as well as beneficial for reducing the bit-error rate and increasing the throughput of the communication link.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
(010.1080) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Active or adaptive optics
(010.1330) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric turbulence
(060.4510) Fiber optics and optical communications : Optical communications
Robert K. Tyson, "Bit-error rate for free-space adaptive optics laser communications," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 19, 753-758 (2002)