Abstract

Signaling by spatial coding is proposed for asynchronous multiple-access free-space optical communications and interference mitigation. The large spatial bandwidth (e.g., 106 pixels) of each laser transmitter aperture is utilized for user coding, while the transmitter temporal bandwidth is preserved for information signals. Signal recovery is based on incoherent optical detection, spatial sampling, and electronic or optical matched filtering of the remotely received transmit optical beam Fresnel or Fraunhofer diffraction pattern. The proposed signaling method is appropriate for multiple-access free-space laser links involving multiple transmitters that use a common receiver. With electronic filtering, low-to-medium (e.g., 3 Mbits/s) data-rate users are appropriate. With a lenslet-array-based incoherent optical correlator, higher (e.g., 100 Mbits/s) data rates can be achieved. Improved interference protection is achieved by spatially distributed bit-duration-based processing. Preliminary simulation results are carried out to demonstrate operating principles.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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