Abstract

In free-space optical link (FSOL), atmospheric turbulence causes fluctuations in both intensity and phase of the received beam and impairing link performance. The beam motion is one of the main causes for major power loss. This paper presents an investigation on the performance of two types of controller designed for aiming a laser beam to be at a particular spot under dynamic disturbances. The multiple experiment observability nonlinear input-output data mapping is used as the principal components for controllers design. The first design is based on the Taguchi method while the second is artificial neural network method. These controllers process the beam location information from a static linear map of 2D plane: optoelectronic position detector, as observer, and then generate the necessary outputs to steer the beam with a microelectromechanical mirror: fast steering mirror. The beam centroid is computed using monopulse algorithm. Evidence of suitability and effectiveness of the proposed controllers are comprehensively assessed and quantitatively measured in terms of coefficient of correlation, correction speed, control exactness, centroid displacement, and stability of the receiver signal through the experimental results from the FSO link setup established for the horizontal range of 0.5 km at an altitude of 15.25 m. The test field type is open flat terrain, grass, and few isolated obstacles.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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