ACQUISITION AND TRACKING LASER COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM.
Final rept. 1 Jul 66-30 Apr 68,
SYLVANIA ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS-EAST WALTHAM MA APPLIED RESEARCH LAB
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Three different techniques for an acquisition and tracking communications system were evaluated, and a design plan was made for the most promising approach. In addition, a series of atmospheric propagation experiments were performed over a 1-kilometer turbulent atmospheric path to determine optimum beamwidths and receiving aperture sizes. Furthermore, studies of an electro-magnetically operated beam-steering mirror were made. In the recommended system a mutually aligned laser transmitter and receiver combination using a common mirror steering element is used to always point both receiver and transmitter along the same direction in space. The focal plane of the optics is scanned to acquire and subsequently track the reflected signal from a retroreflector mounted on the remote terminal. The automatic acquisition and search phase is accomplished by moving the mirror beam-steering element in a raster scan. The automatic tracking function is performed by electronically scanning the focal plane of the optics with an image dissector photomultiplier. A breadboard model with 5-megahertz communication bandwidth capability has been constructed and has been tested over a 1-kilometer range. These tests are discussed and recommendations for further work have been made. Author
- Lasers and Masers
- Optical Detection and Detectors
- Non-Radio Communications