24 August 2010 Comparisons of Cn2 measurements and power-in-fiber data from two long-path free-space optical communication experiments
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Abstract
Over a two-year period beginning in early 2008, MIT Lincoln Laboratory conducted two free-space optical communication experiments designed to test the ability of spatial beam diversity, symbol encoding, and interleaving to reduce the effects of turbulence-induced scintillation. The first of these exercises demonstrated a 2.7 Gb/s link over a ground-level 5.4 km horizontal path. Signal detection was accomplished through the use of four spatially-separated 12 mm apertures that coupled the received light into pre-amplified single-mode fiber detectors. Similar equipment was used in a second experiment performed in the fall of 2009, which demonstrated an error-free air-to-ground link at propagation ranges up to 60 km. In both of these tests power levels at all fiber outputs were sampled at 1 msec intervals, which enabled a high-rate characterization of the received signal fluctuations. The database developed from these experiments encompasses a wide range of propagation geometries and turbulence conditions. This information has subsequently been analyzed in an attempt to correlate estimates of the turbulence profile with measurements of the scintillation index, characteristic fading time constant, scintillation patch size, and the shape parameters of the statistical distributions of the received signals. Significant findings include observations of rapid changes in the scintillation index driven by solar flux variations, consistent similarities in the values of the alpha and beta shape parameters of the gamma-gamma distribution function, and strong evidence of channel reciprocity. 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.
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Ronald R. Parenti, Ronald R. Parenti, Steven Michael, Steven Michael, Jeffrey M. Roth, Jeffrey M. Roth, Timothy M. Yarnall, Timothy M. Yarnall, "Comparisons of Cn2 measurements and power-in-fiber data from two long-path free-space optical communication experiments", Proc. SPIE 7814, Free-Space Laser Communications X, 78140Z (24 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.864256; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.864256
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