A novel free-space retro-communication link
Conference contribution, 2004

Retrocommunication is a new technique for asymmetric free-space optical communication that has attracted interest during recent years. Novel technologies such as multiple quantum well (MQW) optical modulators and non-mechanical laser beam steering and tracking have been studied for implementation in a retrocommunication link. Large and small aperture reflective AlGaAs/GaAs MQW modulators were optimised and fabricated. The modulators exhibit high contrast ratios (from 5 to 100) and high modulation rates (up to 16 Mbit/s). A retroreceiver consisting of four large aperture MQW modulators, associated optics and drive electronics was fabricated. Nematic liquid crystal spatial light modulators have been evaluated, characterised for beam steering and tracking and implemented in a transceiver. Small area MQW modulators, used in focal plane configurations, were studied for static communication links. Results from a novel retrocommunication link utilising a retroreceiver and non-mechanical laser beam steering and tracking will be presented. Bit rates of 8 Mbit/s were observed during non-mechanical tracking of a moving retroreceiver over 100 m range. The demonstrator system was capable of transferring audio-, real-time images or bit streams. The demonstrated principles show promising features for future low weight free-space communication links. Performance calculations including requirements for a retrocommunication link using MQW modulators and non-mechanical beam steering are discussed.

Author

Lars Sjöqvist

Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI)

Emil Hällstig

Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI)

Johan Öhgren

Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI)

Lars Allard

Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI)

Daniel Ågren

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Stephane Junique

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Qin Wang

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Bertrand Noharet

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

David Engström

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Photonics

Sverker Hård

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Photonics

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering

0277786X (ISSN) 1996756X (eISSN)

Vol. 5614 10-23 02

Subject Categories

Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics

DOI

10.1117/12.578267

More information

Latest update

10/3/2019