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Performance Evaluation of Large Aperture 'Polished Panel' Optical Receivers Based on Experimental DataRecent interest in hybrid RF/Optical communications has led to the development and installation of a "polished-panel" optical receiver evaluation assembly on the 34-meter research antenna at Deep-Space Station 13 (DSS-13) at NASA's Goldstone Communications Complex. The test setup consists of a custom aluminum panel polished to optical smoothness, and a large-sensor CCD camera designed to image the point-spread function (PSF) generated by the polished aluminum panel. Extensive data has been obtained via realtime tracking and imaging of planets and stars at DSS-13. Both "on-source" and "off-source" data were recorded at various elevations, enabling the development of realistic simulations and analytic models to help determine the performance of future deep-space communications systems operating with on-off keying (OOK) or pulse-position-modulated (PPM) signaling formats with photon-counting detection, and compared with the ultimate quantum bound on detection performance for these modulations. Experimentally determined PSFs were scaled to provide realistic signal-distributions across a photon-counting detector array when a pulse is received, and uncoded as well as block-coded performance analyzed and evaluated for a well-known class of block codes.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Vilnrotter, Victor
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 8, 2015
Publication Date
March 2, 2013
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command And Tracking
Meeting Information
2013 IEEE Aerospace Conference(Big Sky, MT)
Distribution Limits
on-off keying (OOK)
quantum limits
polished panel optical receiver
optical signals
block codes

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