25 March 2014 Multi-rate DPSK optical transceivers for free-space applications
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We describe a flexible high-sensitivity laser communication transceiver design that can significantly benefit performance and cost of NASA's satellite-based Laser Communications Relay Demonstration. Optical communications using differential phase shift keying, widely deployed for use in long-haul fiber-optic networks, is well known for its superior sensitivity and link performance over on-off keying, while maintaining a relatively straightforward design. However, unlike fiber-optic links, free-space applications often require operation over a wide dynamic range of power due to variations in link distance and channel conditions, which can include rapid kHz-class fading when operating through the turbulent atmosphere. Here we discuss the implementation of a robust, near-quantum-limited multi-rate DPSK transceiver, co-located transmitter and receiver subsystems that can operate efficiently over the highly-variable free-space channel. Key performance features will be presented on the master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) based TX, including a wavelength-stabilized master laser, high-extinction-ratio burst-mode modulator, and 0.5 W single polarization power amplifier, as well as low-noise optically preamplified DSPK receiver and built-in test capabilities.
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D. O. Caplan, D. O. Caplan, J. J. Carney, J. J. Carney, J. J. Fitzgerald, J. J. Fitzgerald, I. Gaschits, I. Gaschits, R. Kaminsky, R. Kaminsky, G. Lund, G. Lund, S. A. Hamilton, S. A. Hamilton, R. J. Magliocco, R. J. Magliocco, R. J. Murphy, R. J. Murphy, H. G. Rao, H. G. Rao, N. W. Spellmeyer, N. W. Spellmeyer, J. P. Wang, J. P. Wang, "Multi-rate DPSK optical transceivers for free-space applications", Proc. SPIE 8971, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXVI, 89710K (25 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2057570; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2057570

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