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23 May 2011 Free-space optical communication links and evaporation layer study near sea surface at 1.55 μm
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In many situations where it is necessary to set up a communication link such as emergencies or in remote locations, running fiber between two sites is not practical. Free-space optics (FSO) holds the potential for high bandwidth communication in such situations with relatively low cost, low maintenance, quick installation times, and average 70- 80% connectivity. Since atmospheric conditions can significantly affect the capability of this type of communication system to transfer information consistently and operate effectively, the effects of atmosphere on FSO communication and consequent optimal wavelength range for transmission are investigated through MODTRAN-based modeling of 1.55 μm transmission. Simulations were performed for multiple elevation angles in atmospheric weather conditions including clear maritime, desert extinction, and various levels of rain and fog to simulate surface-to-surface and surfaceto- air FSO communication networks. Atmospheric, free-space, and scintillation losses are analyzed for optical path lengths of up to 2 km or greater to determine minimum transmit power required for successful data reception. In addition, the effects of atmospheric turbulence on beam propagation in the evaporation layer are investigated, where wavefront sensing with adaptive optics as well as a software Kalman filter are seen as a means to compensate for wavefront distortion. Using advanced laser sources to provide illumination at infrared wavelengths, particularly around the eye-safe 1.55 μm wavelength, it should be possible to overcome many transmission limitations associated with atmospheric conditions such as adverse weather and turbulence to enable high data rate communication links where the use of fiber is not practical or prohibited.
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John Zeller and Tariq Manzur "Free-space optical communication links and evaporation layer study near sea surface at 1.55 μm", Proc. SPIE 8046, Unattended Ground, Sea, and Air Sensor Technologies and Applications XIII, 80460O (23 May 2011);

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