OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 36, Iss. 30 — Oct. 20, 1997
  • pp: 8063–8068

Fading statistics for intersatellite optical communication

Robert R. Hayes  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 36, Issue 30, pp. 8063-8068 (1997)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (241 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The narrow beam widths associated with intersatellite optical communication links make such links susceptible to signal fading because of pointing jitter. Such fading can be aggravated by stationary offsets in pointing. We calculated the fade rates for the case of two spaceborne telescopes having Gaussian beam profiles, a pointing offset, and pointing jitter that can be described by Gaussian statistics. An integral solution is derived for the general case of a nonsymmetrical system, with and without pointing bias, and closed-form solutions are presented for the case of a symmetrical system (identical platforms and optics). These results show that, for a system with 3-dB margin, the rms pointing jitter must be held to less than 7% of the full beam width to keep the fade rate below once per year.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: February 11, 1997
Revised Manuscript: July 11, 1997
Published: October 20, 1997

Robert R. Hayes, "Fading statistics for intersatellite optical communication," Appl. Opt. 36, 8063-8068 (1997)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. D. L. Begley, ed., Free-Space Laser Communication. SPIE Milestone Series Vol. 30 (SPIE, Bellingham, Wash., 1991).
  2. E. C. Jordan, K. G. Balmain, Electromagnetic Waves and Radiating Systems (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N. J., 1968).
  3. S. O. Rice, “Mathematical analysis of random noise,” Bell Syst. Tech. J. 23, 282–332 (1944). [CrossRef]
  4. S. O. Rice, “Mathematical analysis of random noise,” Bell Syst. Tech. J. 24, 46–156 (1945). [CrossRef]
  5. S. O. Rice, “Mathematical analysis of random noise,” in Selected Papers on Noise and Stochastic Processes, N. Wax, ed., (Dover, New York, 1954), p. 189.
  6. D. Middleton, An Introduction to Statistical Communication Theory, International Series in Pure and Applied Physics, L. I. Schiff, ed. (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1960).
  7. N. M. Blachman, Noise and its Effect on Communication (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1966).
  8. N. Coburn, Vector and Tensor Analysis (Macmillan, New York, 1955), p. 198.
  9. K. S. Miller, Multidimensional Gaussian Distributions (Wiley, New York, 1964).
  10. S. G. Lambert, W. L. Casey, Laser Communications in Space (Artech, Boston, 1995).

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.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2

« Previous Article

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited