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Optics Letters

Optics Letters

| RAPID, SHORT PUBLICATIONS ON THE LATEST IN OPTICAL DISCOVERIES

  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 37, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 2012
  • pp: 73–75

Feasibility of infrared Earth tracking for deep-space optical communications

Yijiang Chen, Hamid Hemmati, and Gerry G. Ortiz  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Letters, Vol. 37, Issue 1, pp. 73-75 (2012)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.37.000073


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Abstract

Infrared (IR) Earth thermal tracking is a viable option for optical communications to distant planet and outer-planetary missions. However, blurring due to finite receiver aperture size distorts IR Earth images in the presence of Earth’s nonuniform thermal emission and limits its applicability. We demonstrate a deconvolution algorithm that can overcome this limitation and reduce the error from blurring to a negligible level. The algorithm is applied successfully to Earth thermal images taken by the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. With the solution to this critical issue, IR Earth tracking is established as a viable means for distant planet and outer-planetary optical communications.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(060.4510) Fiber optics and optical communications : Optical communications
(100.1830) Image processing : Deconvolution
(110.3080) Imaging systems : Infrared imaging
(350.6090) Other areas of optics : Space optics

ToC Category:
Fiber Optics and Optical Communications

History
Original Manuscript: September 6, 2011
Revised Manuscript: November 9, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: November 16, 2011
Published: December 24, 2011

Citation
Yijiang Chen, Hamid Hemmati, and Gerry G. Ortiz, "Feasibility of infrared Earth tracking for deep-space optical communications," Opt. Lett. 37, 73-75 (2012)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-37-1-73

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