Performance limitations of free-space optical communication satellite networks due to vibrations: Direct-detection digital mode

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Free space optical communication between satellites networked together can permit high data rates between different places on earth. The use of optical radiation as a carrier between the satellites permits very narrow beam divergence angles. Due to the narrow beam divergence angle and the large distance between the satellites the pointing from one satellite to another is complicated. The pointing task is further complicated due to vibration of the pointing system caused by tracking noise and mechanical impacts. In this work we derive mathematical performance models for digital direct detection communication satellite networks as a function of the system parameters, the number of satellites, and the vibration amplitude. The optical inter- satellite network model considered includes a transmitter satellite, regenerative satellites, and a receiver satellite all networked together. A comparison between three communication system modulation schemes on-off keying, pulse position modulation, and pulse polarization binary modulation is presented. These models are the basis for optical communication tracking and pointing system design of appropriate complexity and performance in order to make the network as simple and inexpensive as possible. From the analysis it is clear that even low vibration amplitude of one satellite pointing system decreases dramatically the network performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-368
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1997
Event10th Meeting on Optical Engineering in Israel - Jerusalem, Israel
Duration: 2 Mar 19972 Mar 1997


  • Networks
  • Optical amplifier
  • Pointing
  • Satellite optical communication
  • Tracking
  • Vibrations

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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