15 March 2016 Fiber coupling and field mixing of coherent free-space optical beams in satellite communications
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Abstract
Effective coupling of the optical field from free-space to optical fiber is an essential prerequisite for modern free-space optical communications systems. It allows for easier system integration with active and passive optical fiber-coupled components as well as for efficient optical field mixing for coherent communications. While coupling into single-mode fiber provides the advantage of using low-noise erbium-doped fiber preamplifiers, its relatively small mode field diameter limits achievable fiber coupling efficiency. Coupling into multimode fiber (MMF) increases the fiber coupling efficiency while introducing other spurious effects the authors have set out to analyze.

The study of free-space optical beam coupling in the context of satellite communications will be presented. Here, we assume satellite link scenarios with different elevations, which correspond to different index-of-refraction turbulence (IRT) conditions. IRT gives rise to both intensity and phase aberration of the received optical field, which then causes extended speckle patterns in the focus of the receiver telescope. The speckle field at the fiber input is calculated by means of Fourier transform of the received field. Using dedicated modelling software, study of the fiber coupling efficiency, polarization preservation and high-order mode coupling in different multi-mode fibers is carried out.
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J. Poliak, D. Giggenbach, R. Mata Calvo, D. Bok, "Fiber coupling and field mixing of coherent free-space optical beams in satellite communications", Proc. SPIE 9739, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXVIII, 973913 (15 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2212218; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212218
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