1 October 2007 45-Mbit/s cat's-eye modulating retroreflectors
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Abstract
Modulating retroreflectors (MRRs) couple passive optical retroreflectors with electro-optic modulators to allow free-space optical communication with a laser and pointing-acquisition-tracking system required on only one end of the link. Recently, MRR using multiple quantum well (MQW) modulators have been demonstrated using a large-area MQW placed in front of the aperture of a corner cube. For a MQW modulator, the maximum modulation rate can range into the gigahertz, limited only by the RC time constant of the device. Most MRR systems have used corner-cube retroreflectors with apertures of about 1 cm, which require large, and hence high-capacitance, modulators. Thus data rates exceeding a few megabits per second are not possible. We describe a new kind of MQW MRR that uses a cat's-eye retroreflector with the MQW in the focal plane of the cat's-eye. This system decouples the size of the modulator from the size of the optical aperture and allows much higher data rates. A 45-Mbit/s free space link over a range of 7 km is demonstrated.
© (2007) Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
William S. Rabinovich, Peter G. Goetz, R. Mahon, Lee A. Swingen, James L. Murphy, M. Ferraro, Harris Rayvon Burris, Christopher I. Moore, Michele R. Suite, G. Charmaine Gilbreath, Steven C. Binari, David J. Klotzkin, "45-Mbit/s cat's-eye modulating retroreflectors," Optical Engineering 46(10), 104001 (1 October 2007). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.2789634 . Submission:
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