Image Based Acquisition and Tracking for Multi-Access Laser Communications
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB KIRTLAND AFB NM SPACE VEHICLES DIRECTORATE
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Long-range laser communications links offer many potential advantages to satellite communications systems including high bandwidth, security, and a small physical footprint. However, the establishment of a laser communications link can be very difficult and time consuming due to the extremely small beam divergences and stringent platform stability requirements inherent to lasercom systems. Most of the difficulty lies in the first step of actually painting the partner terminal with a laser spot or detecting said spot due to large uncertainties, terminal vibrations and jitter, bright optical backgrounds and clutter. A detailed physical and statistical model of this first detection process has been developed and verified against computer simulations using representative background images to ensure the success of this critical first step in the acquisition process.
- Target Direction, Range and Position Finding
- Non-Radio Communications
- Lasers and Masers