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1 September 2006 Three-stage tracking approach in development of a free-space laser communicator
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We report the concept and preliminary test results of development of a three-stage beam tracking system for demonstration of a Gbps free-space laser communicator. The development goal has been high-speed optical inter-satellite communications. The tracking system consists of three sub-systems: the coarse tracker (a 10.5 cm-diameter motorized Maksutov telescope with acquisition sensor); the intermediate electro-optical tracker (a voice-coil and a Si-based position detector), and the nonlinear optical fine tracker (a nonlinear cell with a liquid crystal). Three-stage tracking allows for efficient compensation of jitter of up to kHz while maintaining a sub-microradian pointing precision. A combination of the tracking system with a signal feed / modulation unit has been designed to demonstrate a 2.5-10 Gbps-level performance at distances of about 5-7 km.
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Alexander S. Koujelev and Alexander E. Dudelzak "Three-stage tracking approach in development of a free-space laser communicator", Proc. SPIE 6304, Free-Space Laser Communications VI, 63041Q (1 September 2006);

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