Abstract

This paper reports on a simulation-based investigation of a wavelength diverse free-space optical link with an emphasis on identifying design choices that optimize the performance of the system under different operating scenarios. The simulation incorporates experimental data into the theoretical calculations for optical propagation to better describe the performance of the physical designs. The performance is evaluated in terms of the coverage area at the receiver, which is a measure of misalignment tolerance and is dependent not only on wavelength but on other key parameters, such as link length, transmitted power, the pattern of transmitters, beam divergence, and the receiver construction. The investigation finds that the coverage area of the receiver can be optimized for a given wavelength by proper choices of these parameters, and that parameter choices exist that minimize the change in performance when switching between wavelengths or for variations in link parameters. The interrelationships among key parameters and their impact on the potential system performance are investigated. The results provide guidance on the further development of the overall system.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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