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Title: Free-space optical communications with retro-reflecting acquisition and turbulence compensation
Author: Vachiramon, Pithawat
ISNI:       0000 0004 2686 6937
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2009
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Free-space optics (FSO), or wireless optical communications, has received extensive research due to its promise of practically limitless bandwidths. However, FSO has challenges yet to be met for a cost effective realisation. This D.Phil thesis explores a solution using a ferro-electric liquid crystal spatial light modulator (FLC SLM) and binary phase holograms to significantly reduce the hardware complexity of an FSO system with auto-alignment and turbulence compensation. The theory of binary phase hologram is presented and extended to obtain a new algorithm that is suitable for a FLC SLM. The algorithm is able to be used in a demonstration system to broadcast data streams to multiple receivers, showing the capability of using FLC SLM to form any beam configuration. An FSO transmitter is then developed that uses retro-reflectors as markers for the receivers. The transmitter combines an imaging system with the FLC SLM as a reconfigurable beam steering system for acquiring the retro-reflector location. The FLC SLM is also used to reduce aberrations in the optics, resulting in a significant increase in the transmitted beam power density. The accuracy of the acquisition is measured to give a small steering error without the use of a closed loop controller. An optical turbulence simulator, using the principals of binary phase hologram, is constructed to simulate optical beam propagation in turbulent conditions. The simulator accurately produces aberrations that have the same statistics with the theoretical prediction. Analysis of the phase distortion due to turbulence is performed and a wavefront sensorless turbulence compensation method based on the FLC SLM gives significant reduction in calculated bit error rates. New scintillation index derivation for multiple optical beams is described and then used to demonstrate further decrease in bit error rates.
Supervisor: O'Brien, Dominic C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Communications engineering (optical, microwave and radio) ; Optoelectronics ; turbulence ; communication ; optical ; holography ; retroreflector ; atmosphere