An optical link based on a multiplex of wavelengths at 1:55 μm is foreseen to be a valuable alternative to the conventional radio-frequencies for the feeder link of the next-generation of high throughput geostationary satellite. Considering the limited power of lasers envisioned for feeder links, the beam divergence has to be dramatically reduced. Consequently, the beam pointing becomes a key issue. During its propagation between the ground station and a geostationary satellite, the optical beam is deflected (beam wandering), and possibly distorted (beam spreading), by atmospheric turbulence. It induces strong fluctuations of the detected telecom signal, thus increasing the bit error rate (BER). A steering mirror using a measurement from a beam coming from the satellite is used to pre-compensate the deflection. Because of the point-ahead angle between the downlink and the uplink, the turbulence effects experienced by both beams are slightly different, inducing an error in the correction. This error is characterized as a function of the turbulence characteristics as well as of the terminal characteristics, such as the servo-loop bandwidth or the beam diameter, and is included in the link budget. From this result, it is possible to predict intensity fluctuations detected by the satellite statistically (mean intensity, scintillation index, probability of fade, etc.)). The final objective is to optimize the different parameters of an optical ground station capable of mitigating the impact of atmospheric turbulence on the uplink in order to be compliant with the targeted capacity (1Terabit/s by 2025).
A-R. Camboulives, M-T. Velluet, S. Poulenard, L. Saint-Antonin, and V. Michau, "Optical ground station optimization for future optical geostationary satellite feeder uplinks," Proc. SPIE 10096, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXIX, 1009608 (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 30, 2017; Published: 24 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2249994.
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