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23 February 2009 Secure optical communication system utilizing deformable MEMS mirrors
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An optical communication system suitable for voice, data retrieval from remote sensors and identification is described. The system design allows operation at ranges of several hundred meters. The heart of the system is a modulated MEMS mirror that is electrostatically actuated and changes between a flat reflective state and a corrugated diffractive state. A process for mass producing these mirrors at low cost was developed and is described. The mirror was incorporated as a facet in a hollow retro-reflector, allowing temporal modulation of an interrogating beam and the return of the modulated beam to the interrogator. This system thus consists of a low power, small and light communication node with large (about 60°) angular extent. The system's range and pointing are determined by the interrogator /detector/demodulator (Transceiver) unit. The transceiver is comprised of an optical channel to establish line of sight communication, an interrogating laser at 1550nm, an avalanche photo diode to detect the return signal and electronics to drive the laser and demodulate the detected signal and convert it to an audio signal. A functional prototype system was built using a modified compact optical sight as the transceiver. Voice communication in free space was demonstrated. The design and test of major components and the complete system are discussed.
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Leah Ziph-Schatzberg, Thomas Bifano, Steven Cornelissen, Jason Stewart, and Zvi Bleier "Secure optical communication system utilizing deformable MEMS mirrors", Proc. SPIE 7209, MEMS Adaptive Optics III, 72090C (23 February 2009);

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