UBC Faculty Research and Publications

All-optical retro-modulation for terabit-per-second free-space optical communication Born, Brandon; Geoffroy-Gagnon, Simon; Holzman, Jonathan; Hristovski, Ilija


This work puts forward new technologies for free-space optical communications, with emphasis on deployments between ground and aerial transceivers. The proposed system targets the challenges of these aerial-ground links by applying direct laser transmission for the ground-to-aerial active uplink and applying all-optical retro-modulation (AORM) for the aerial-to-ground passive downlink. It is shown that such a system can function with multiple ground transceivers, over wide service coverage, and one aerial transceiver, with low demands for its mass and power. The AORM architecture applied in the passive downlink implements glass S-LAH79 hemispheres for effective retroreflection and CuO nanocrystal semiconductor thin film layer for all-optical modulation on ultrafast timescale. The fabricated AORM architecture is demonstrated to have an system response time of 770 fs, which limits the aggregate data rate. Such a fast system response establishes the possibility of terabit-per-second data rates. Ultimately, these findings can lay the foundation for future laser-based terabit-per-second links between satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, and high-altitude platforms

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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