Bandwidth maximization for satellite laser communication

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Free space optical communication between satellites networked together can make possible high speed communication between different places on earth. The basic free space optical communication network includes at least two satellites. In order to communicate between them, the transmitter satellite must track the beacon of the receiver satellite and point the information optical beam in its direction. The pointing systems for laser satellite communication suffer during tracking from vibration due to electronic noise, background radiation from interstellar objects such as sun, moon, earth and stars in the tracking field of view, and mechanical impact from satellite internal and external sources. Due to vibrations the receiver receives less power. This effect limits the system bandwidth for given bit error rate (BER). In this research we derive an algorithm to maximize the communication system bandwidth using the transmitter telescope gain as a free variable based on the vibration statistics model and the system parameters. Our model makes it possible to adapt the bandwidth and transmitter gain to change of vibration amplitude. We also present an example of a practical satellite network which includes a direct detection receiver with an optical amplifier. A bandwidth improvement of three orders of magnitude is achieved in this example for certain conditions, as compared to an unoptimized system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-174
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1998
EventPhotonics for Space Environments VI - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 22 Jul 1998 → …


  • Bandwidth optimization
  • Optical satellite communication
  • Vibrations


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