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Aero-optical effects in free-space laser communications

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2 Author(s)
Gordeyev, S. ; Univ. of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA ; Jumper, E.

When a laser beam is transmitted from an airborne platform, it must first pass through a relatively thin region of the turbulent flow in the immediate vicinity of the airplane. Unsteady density variations present in the turbulent flow will imprint spatial/temporal variations on the otherwise planar outgoing wavefronts. These variations in wavefronts will force the beam to move, change its shape and even break into several spots on a distant target. These aero-optical effects [1,2], even in the absence of any atmospheric optical distortions, might significantly degrade a performance of any free-space, laser-based airborne systems at subsonic, transonic or supersonic speeds.

Published in:

Photonics Society Summer Topical Meeting Series, 2012 IEEE

Date of Conference:

9-11 July 2012