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Appl Opt. 1997 Mar 20;36(9):1987-93.

Adaptive optical transmitter and receiver for space communication through thin clouds.


Optical space communication from satellite to ground or air to air consists of clouds as part of communication channels. Propagation of optical pulses through clouds causes widening and deformation in the time domain and attenuation of the pulse radiant power. These effects decrease the received signal and limit the information bandwidth of the communication system. Having dealt with the other effects previously, here we concentrate on pulse broadening in the time domain. We derive a mathematical model of an adaptive optical communication system with a multiscattering channel (atmospheric cloud). We use knowledge about the impulse response function of the cloud to adapt the communication parameters to the transfer function of the cloud. The communication system includes a receiver and a transmitter. We adapted the transmitter to atmospheric conditions by changing the bit error rate. One can adapt the receiver to the atmospheric condition by changing the parameters of the detector and the filter. An example for a practical communication system between a low Earth orbit satellite and a ground station cover by cloud is given. Comparison and analysis of an adaptive and semiadaptive system with cloud channels are presented. Our conclusion is that in some cases only by such adaptive methods is optical communication possible.

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