Abstract

The narrow beam widths associated with intersatellite optical communication links make such links susceptible to signal fading because of pointing jitter. Such fading can be aggravated by stationary offsets in pointing. We calculated the fade rates for the case of two spaceborne telescopes having Gaussian beam profiles, a pointing offset, and pointing jitter that can be described by Gaussian statistics. An integral solution is derived for the general case of a nonsymmetrical system, with and without pointing bias, and closed-form solutions are presented for the case of a symmetrical system (identical platforms and optics). These results show that, for a system with 3-dB margin, the rms pointing jitter must be held to less than 7% of the full beam width to keep the fade rate below once per year.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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