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24 February 2017 Impact of atmospheric anisoplanaticity on earth-to-satellite time transfer over laser communication links
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The need for an accurate time and position reference on orbiting platforms motivates the study of time transfer over satellite optical communication links. The transfer of precise optical clock signals to space would benefit many fields in fundamental science and applications. However, the precise role of atmospheric turbulence during the optical time transfer process is not well-known and documented. In free-space optical links, atmospheric turbulence represents a major impairment, since it causes degradation of the spatial and temporal coherence of the optical signals. We present possible link scenarios in which the atmospheric channel behavior for time transfer between ground and space can be investigated, and have identified the major challenges to be overcome. We found in our analysis that, despite the limited reciprocity in uplink and downlink propagation, partial two-way cancellation of atmospheric effects still occurs. We established that laser communication links make possible high-quality time transfer in most practical propagation scenarios and over a single satellite visibility period. Our results demonstrate that sharing of optical communication resources for optical time transfer and range determination is an effective and relevant scheme for space clock developments and enabling for future space missions.
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Aniceto Belmonte, Michael T. Taylor, Leo Hollberg, and Joseph M. Kahn "Impact of atmospheric anisoplanaticity on earth-to-satellite time transfer over laser communication links", Proc. SPIE 10096, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXIX, 1009605 (24 February 2017);

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