Abstract

The far-field pattern of an onboard laser transmitter was measured with a transatmospheric optical link with a distance of ∼33,000 km between the satellite and the optical ground station. The far-field pattern was acquired with a new method used to analyze statistically downlink irradiance data obtained at the ground station. The statistical tracking and pointing characteristics of the transmitter were taken into account in estimating downlink irradiance, assuming that there were no atmospheric scintillation effects. The peak directive gain of the downlink laser beam was 104.3 dB. The beam width (full width at half-maximum) was 28.5 × 17.5 μrad. These results were consistent with the results from a laboratory test undertaken before launch of the satellite.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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