We present a design methodology for free-space laser communications systems. The first phase includes a
characterization through numerical simulations of the channel to evaluate the range of extinction and scintillation. The
second phase is the selection of fade mitigation schemes, which would incorporate pointing, acquisition, tracking, and
communication system parameters specifically tailored to the channel. Ideally, the process would include sufficient
flexibility to adapt to a wide range of channel conditions. We provide an example of the successful application of this
design approach to a recent set of field experiments.
This work was sponsored by the Department of Defense, RRCO DDR&E, under Air Force Contract FA8721-05-C-0002.
Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by
the United States Government.