19 March 2013 Comparing adaptive optics approaches for NASA LCRD Ground Station #2
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NASA’s Laser Communication Relay Demonstration (LCRD) aims to demonstrate a geosynchronous satellite laser communications (lasercom) relay between two independent ground terminals. We report on the design of two adaptive optics (AO) techniques for LCRD Ground Station #2 (GS-2). GS-2 leverages the ground terminal developed for NASA’s Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD). Equipping GS-2’s 40cm diameter receive telescope with AO to mitigate atmospheric turbulence effects will enable the use of single mode, optically preamplified receivers for high data-rate near-Earth relay applications. In this work a direct wavefront sensing AO approach using a Shack-Hartmann sensor and a continuous facesheet micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) deformable mirror (DM) was compared with an indirect sensing, hill-climbing or multidither approach using a segmented MEMS DM. Design concepts and recent experimental progress for the two approaches are presented.
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Jason B. Stewart, Jason B. Stewart, Daniel V. Murphy, Daniel V. Murphy, John D. Moores, John D. Moores, Andrew S. Fletcher, Andrew S. Fletcher, Keith M. Bonneau, Keith M. Bonneau, "Comparing adaptive optics approaches for NASA LCRD Ground Station #2", Proc. SPIE 8610, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXV, 86100M (19 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2010126; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2010126

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