A novel free-space retro-communication link
Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet), 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.