We discuss the design of a digital laser communication receiver and its sensitivity test process. Laser communication is especially suitable for long-distance low-power micro–nano satellite links due to its narrow beam width, but the electro-optical noise situation of the micro–nano satellite platform is complicated and bad. Hence, it is necessary to introduce a digital laser communication receiver to flexibly suppress interference and noise to improve communication sensitivity. A digital laser communication receiver based on the avalanche photodiode (APD) is designed. Based on the principle of digital communication error probability, a high-sensitivity APD device is selected, and a digital receiving channel based on field programmable gate array is designed. The finite impulse response, the dynamic threshold, the baseband median, and other filtering algorithms are used to optimize the signal-to-noise ratio and enhance the detection sensitivity. At the same time, an 800-nm laser communication receiver sensitivity test experimental architecture is designed and the detection sensitivity experiment is carried out. The experiment indicates that the APD receiver achieves detection sensitivity at an Mbps rate better than −60 dBm. The digital filtering algorithm provides a filtering signal-to-noise ratio improvement of about 15 dB, which supplies a reference for the receiver design of micro–nano satellite laser communication.
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