Compact VCSEL-based laser array communications systems for improved data performance in satellites

Richard F. Carson, Mial E. Warren, John R. Joseph, Thomas Wilcox, David J. Abell, Kirk J. Otis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Compact, radiation-hardened free-space optical data links are enabled by two-dimensional VCSEL arrays that can be modulated at high data rates while being scaled to produce high power levels. The combination of high modulation speed and scalability of power is enabled by the use of arrays which are flip-chip mounted onto sub-mounts that contain electrical strip line waveguides to provide an impedance match for the VCSELs. For laser wavelengths in the 910 nm to 1020 nm range, the lasers can be back-emitting through the GaAs substrate, which enables the use of etched microlenses to manipulate the beams from the individual elements. This approach of using VCSELs in arrays is inherently reliable and radiation-hard. The resulting free space optical data links are particularly advantageous for space-borne applications where size, weight, and power are important factors. Performance characterization of links constructed with these lasers demonstrates their suitability for short distance to medium distance data transfer at up to 10 Gb/s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments VIII
EditorsDavid A. Cardimona, Edward W. Taylor
PublisherSPIE
ISBN (Electronic)9781628412536
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event8th Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environment Conference, NMSE 2014 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 18 2014Aug 19 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume9226
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Conference

Conference8th Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environment Conference, NMSE 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period8/18/148/19/14

Keywords

  • Free space optical communication
  • Integrated micro-lens
  • Laser array
  • Laser modulation
  • Optical data link
  • Space communications
  • VCSEL

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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