9 December 2002 Free space optical communications utilizing MEMS adaptive optics correction
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Abstract
Free space optical communications (FSO) are beginning to provide attractive alternatives to fiber-based solutions in many situations. Currently, a handful of companies provide fiberless alternatives especially aimed at corporate intranet and sporting event video. These solutions are geared toward solving the 'last mile' connectivity issues. There exists a potential need to extend this pathlength to distances much greater than a 1 km, particularly for government and military applications. For cases of long distance optical propagation, atmospheric turbulence will ultimately limit the maximum achievable data rate. In this paper, we propose a method of improved signal quality through the use of adaptive optics. In particular, we show work in progress toward a high-speed, small footprint Adaptive Optics system for horizontal and slant path laser communications. Such a system relies heavily on recent progress in Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) deformable mirrors as well as improved communication and computational components.
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Charles A. Thompson, Michael W. Kartz, Laurence M. Flath, Scott C. Wilks, Richard A. Young, Gary W. Johnson, Anthony J. Ruggiero, "Free space optical communications utilizing MEMS adaptive optics correction", Proc. SPIE 4821, Free-Space Laser Communication and Laser Imaging II, (9 December 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.451463; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.451463
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