17 October 2014 Novel non-mechanical fine tracking module for retroreflective free space optics
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Abstract
The new generation of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) require high speed data links to offload all its sensors data. RFSO (Reflective Free Space Optics) has become an important alternative to RF systems because it is robust against interception and jamming, enhancing data security. Moreover, the weight and power consumption of the RFSO coms module is reduced, making it suitable for SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power) constrained applications. In this paper, we present the design of a tracking module based on a non-mechanical holographic beam steering system. A highly accurate position sensing unit is required to accomplish a good tracking process and therefore guarantee the data link stability. Different localization methods such as centroid, centroid windowed or centroid squared are tested and compared using real data captured in a turbulent scenario. Errors below 8cm are reported in a double pass 1km link.
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C. Quintana, A. Gomez, G. Faulkner, Gavin R. Erry, Y. Thueux, D. O'Brien, "Novel non-mechanical fine tracking module for retroreflective free space optics", Proc. SPIE 9248, Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks X, 92480S (17 October 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2070225; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2070225
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