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1 April 2008 Free-space optical communication link across
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This paper presents the results of a successful bidirectional free-space optical link across 16 km to a modulated retroreflector array. The link was implemented at the Naval Research Laboratory's Chesapeake Bay Detachment laser test range. A 6-W cw 1550-nm class 1 M interrogation beam was used to illuminate an array of three modulated cat's-eye retroreflectors located on a tower across the Chesapeake Bay on Tilghman Island. The modulated retroreflectors had a diameter of 16 mm and were arranged in a triangular pattern with a spacing of 30 cm. The interrogating terminal employed a 100-μrad divergence and a high-speed pointing and tracking system to maintain link alignment. Link testing occurred over 12 days in the months of September, October, and November of 2006. Topics presented in this paper include the link scenario for the 16-km free-space optical link, the link budget, and terminal designs, as well as link acquisition and performance. Link performance results presented include data transmission throughput, scintillation data, and pointing and tracking results.
©(2008) Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Mark L. Plett, William S. Rabinovich, Rita Mahon, Mike S. Ferraro, Peter G. Goetz, Christopher I. Moore, and Wade Freeman "Free-space optical communication link across," Optical Engineering 47(4), 045001 (1 April 2008).
Published: 1 April 2008

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