Pointing Error Correction for MEMS Laser Communication Systems

B. Cagdaser, B.S. Leibowitz, M. Last, K. Ramanathan, B.E. Boser, and K.S.J. Pister (USA)


Free space optical communication, gyroscope drift, system architecture.


We propose the use of free-space optical communication for information transmission between small airplanes <1m wing span. The transmitter directs a focused laser beam (~ 1mrad full-width-half-max, FWHM) to the receiver using a 2 degree-of-freedom (DOF) MEMS mirror for pointing. Gyroscopes are used to monitor and compensate for short-term motion of the transmitter. Periodic dithering corrects gyroscope drift and tracks the motion of the receiver. A 1 DOF prototype with commercially available mirrors and gyroscopes shows that the proposed algorithms use less than 4 percent of the available communication bandwidth.

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