Characterizing the fundamental response and operational parameters of a deformable mirror is a critical first step in the
design of an adaptive optics system. This paper describes the characterization of the influence function and training of a
piezoelectric deformable mirror (PDM) at 632 nm. We scale the results to 1550 nm for low to mid order aberration
correction for free space laser communications applications in the Short Wave Infrared (SWIR). A modified
Twyman-Green interferometer was used to measure the influence functions and to characterize the mirror. The data was analyzed
using commercial and customized software.
We describe characterization of a hybrid Free-Space Optical (FSO) and Radio Frequency (RF) link for efficient
switching between the two links. The monitoring and switching are controlled by a program that checks the FSO
connection health using echo packets. The switching program was tested using a fiber optic link that can simulate
atmospheric attenuation and scintillation effects by using an optical modulator. The sensitivity to connection quality
degradation and momentary connection outages can be optimized for a given system. Connection quality dependent
switching rather than continuous operation of both FSO and RF links is desired in situations where RF use is to be
minimized, while maintaining high reliability.