15 February 2018 Bit error rate performance on passive alignment in free space optical links using large core fibers
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Abstract
A 20-meter free-space optical link (FSOL) is proposed for data transmission between external ISS payload sites and the main cabin at a target rate of 10 Gbps (gigabits per second). Motion between a payload site and the main cabin is predicted to cause up to 5 cm in lateral misalignment and 0.2 degrees of angular misalignment. Due to the harsh environment of space it is advantageous to locate the optical transceivers inside the spacecraft or in a controlled environment. With the optical components and transceivers in separate locations, a fiber optic cable will be required to carry light between the two. In our past work we found that the use of large-core fibers provide an increased misalignment tolerance for such systems and could eliminate the need for active control of the optics. In that work, it was shown that a 105 μm core diameter fiber optic cable offered a viable low SWaP (size, weight, and power) solution for the ISS application; however, the effects of modal dispersion were not investigated. This paper will present bit error rate performance of the FSOL using these large-core fibers.
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Bryan Schoenholz, Sarah Tedder, Patrick Millican, Joel Berkson, "Bit error rate performance on passive alignment in free space optical links using large core fibers", Proc. SPIE 10524, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXX, 1052415 (15 February 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2290201; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2290201
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