25 September 2013 An innovative modulating retro-reflector for free-space optical communication
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Abstract
Modulating retro-reflectors (MRR) are beneficial for asymmetric free-space optics communication links. An MRR includes an optical retro-reflector and an electro-optic shutter. The main advantage of an MRR configuration is that it shifts most of the power, weight, and pointing requirements onto one end of the link. In this study an innovative device comprising of nanoparticle-embedded ferroelectric thin film is used as an MRR. The new modulator is mounted in front of a passive retro-reflector. In our study we calculated the link budget for lunar exploration scenario. The scenario includes a base station that communicates with several robots or astronauts. In our simulations, the base station illuminates a robot with a continuous-wave beam, i.e. an interrogating beam. The un-modulated beam strikes the MRR, which is located on the robot, and is passively reflected back to the base station carrying the data that has been modulated onto it by the MRR. In this scenario a robot and a base-station are 4km apart, with a clear line of sight. In addition, the innovative MRR is capable of achieving 12dB contrast ratio. Under these assumptions and using the nanoparticle-embedded ferroelectric MRR we calculated the required transmission power for a given bit-rate and BER.
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Etai Rosenkrantz, Shlomi Arnon, "An innovative modulating retro-reflector for free-space optical communication", Proc. SPIE 8874, Laser Communication and Propagation through the Atmosphere and Oceans II, 88740D (25 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2022745; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2022745
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