Analyzing performance of nano-satellite cluster-detector array receiver laser communication

Denis Bushuev, Debbie Kedar, Shlomi Arnon

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This work presents research in the field of laser satellite communication between a cluster of nano-satellites and a ground station. The scenario under consideration is a cluster of nano-satellites, communicating by means of a laser beam with a detector array receiver, which is located on the Earth's surface and equipped with a common optical system for all incoming beams. A critical parameter, determining the successful receipt of a transmitted signal for a given configuration, is the angular separation between the satellites within the cluster. This separation must be retained to prevent critical overlapping of the spots on the detector. The maximum allowable overlapping is calculated in terms of given BER. The spatial spreading of the beams, caused by scattering from aerosols in different layers of the atmosphere, is calculated for the case of single scattering, as appropriate for the stratified model used. Turbulence influences the beam width especially for the case of short exposure. In this research a new approach is adopted to characterize the atmospheric channel using OTF (Optical Transfer Function) concepts from the field of imaging and remote sensing. We evaluate the effectiveness of this new approach in applications where spatial spread is very important, and detector array feasibility is currently under investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-258
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2002
EventFree-Space Laser Communication and Laser Imaging II - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: 9 Jul 200211 Jul 2002


  • Detector arrays
  • Laser communication
  • Nano-satellites
  • Optical transfer function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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