Abstract

Retroreflective free-space optical communication is important because of advantages such as small volume, low weight, and low power consumption. Link failure caused by bad weather conditions will occur because of the attenuated retroreflective signal and the increased scattering of the transmitted light. The scattering effect can be reduced because the physical properties (including polarization, wavefront, and phase) of the scattering signal are different from those of the retroreflective signal. The physical properties of the scattering signal are obtained using a polarization-sensitive Monte Carlo model, and the heterodyning scattering signal is obtained using heterodyning theory. Results show that, with optical heterodyning, the scattering effect is efficiently reduced, and advantages such as better adaptability to bad weather conditions, longer communication range, more compact transceiver design, larger covering area of the optical receiver, and easier target acquisition for the retromodulator than before can also be obtained.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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