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15 March 2016 Photon counting detector array algorithms for deep space optical communications
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For deep-space optical communications systems utilizing an uplink optical beacon, a single-photon-counting detector array on the flight terminal can be used to simultaneously perform uplink tracking and communications as well as accurate downlink pointing at photon-starved (pW=m2) power levels. In this paper, we discuss concepts and algorithms for uplink signal acquisition, tracking, and parameter estimation using a photon-counting camera. Statistical models of detector output data and signal processing algorithms are presented, incorporating realistic effects such as Earth background and detector/readout blocking. Analysis and simulation results are validated against measured laboratory data using state-of-the-art commercial photon-counting detector arrays, demonstrating sub-microradian tracking errors under channel conditions representative of deep space optical links.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Meera Srinivasan, Kenneth S. Andrews, William H. Farr, and Andre Wong "Photon counting detector array algorithms for deep space optical communications", Proc. SPIE 9739, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXVIII, 97390X (15 March 2016);

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