Abstract

A wavelength-multiplexed optical scanning scheme is proposed for deflecting a free-space optical beam by selection of the wavelength of the light incident on a wavelength-dispersive optical element. With fast tunable lasers or optical filters, this scanner features microsecond domain scan setting speeds and large- diameter apertures of several centimeters or more for subdegree angular scans. Analysis performed indicates an optimum scan range for a given diffraction order and grating period. Limitations include beam-spreading effects based on the varying scanner aperture sizes and the instantaneous information bandwidth of the data-carrying laser beam.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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