Abstract

Wave-front aberrations due to thermal deformation of elliptical reflectors in periscopic laser communication terminals are studied, and are fitted by Zernike elliptical polynomials. The relationship between pointing error and temperature distribution of elliptical reflectors in intersatellite laser communication systems is researched. The back-fixing method is introduced for fixing the elliptical reflectors, and is proven to reduce pointing error compared to the traditional around-fixing method using a press board. It is shown that the difference between uniform temperature and reference temperature has a much stronger influence than the temperature gradient. For the back-fixing method, the pointing error changes periodically as the uniform temperature changes with a period value of 1.6°C, and the maximum pointing error value is 16.7μrad. The result also tells us that, if the difference between uniform temperature and reference temperature is within 1.0°C, there is no pointing error caused by back-fixed reflectors. We hope this work can contribute to the thermal control of elliptical reflectors in intersatellite laser communication terminals.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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