We propose a design for a free space optical communications (FSOC) receiver terminal that offers an improved field of view (FOV) in comparison to conventional FSOC receivers. The design utilizes a microlens to couple the incident optical signal into an individual fiber in a bundle routed to remote optical detectors. Each fiber in the bundle collects power from a solid angle of space; utilizing multiple fibers enhances the total FOV of the receiver over typical single-fiber designs. The microlens-to-fiber-bundle design is scalable and modular and can be replicated in an array to increase aperture size. The microlens is moved laterally with a piezoelectric transducer to optimize power coupling into a given fiber core in the bundle as the source appears to move due to relative motion between the transmitter and receiver. The optimum position of the lens array is determined via a feedback loop whose input is derived from a position sensing detector behind another lens. Light coupled into like fibers in each array cell is optically combined (in fiber) before illuminating discrete detectors.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
Fiber Optics and Optical Communications
Original Manuscript: September 2, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: September 21, 2010
Published: October 19, 2010
Daniel V. Hahn, David M. Brown, Nathan W. Rolander, Joseph E. Sluz, and Radha Venkat, "Fiber optic bundle array wide field-of-view optical receiver for free space optical communications," Opt. Lett. 35, 3559-3561 (2010)