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Atmospheric compensation with a speckle beacon in strong scintillation conditions: directed energy and laser communication applications

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Abstract

Wavefront control experiments in strong scintillation conditions (scintillation index, ≃1) over a 2.33 km, near-horizontal, atmospheric propagation path are presented. The adaptive-optics system used comprises a tracking and a fast-beam-steering mirror as well as a 132-actuator, microelectromechanical-system, piston-type deformable mirror with a VLSI controller that implements stochastic parallel gradient descent control optimization of a system performance metric. The experiments demonstrate mitigation of atmospheric distortions with a speckle beacon typical for directed energy and free-space laser communication applications.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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