The performance of a free-space optical (FSO) communications link in a maritime environment was evaluated during two field trials conducted off the mid-Atlantic coast near Wallops Island, VA, in July and September 2009. Bi-directional, ship-to-shore links operating at 1550 nm and using commercial, single-mode adaptive optics terminals were set up between a lookout tower located on Cedar Island, VA, and a JHU/APL research vessel over a range of 2 to 22 km (optical horizon). This paper presents the test configuration along with the FSO characterization instruments and discusses the overall performance of the FSO channel.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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