Ultra-wideband free-space optical phase stabilization

Benjamin P. Dix-Matthews, David R. Gozzard, Skevos F.E. Karpathakis, Charles T. Gravestock, Sascha W. Schediwy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Free-space optical (FSO) communications have the potential to revolutionize wireless communications due to the advantages of greater inherent security, high-directionality, high available bandwidth and small physical footprint. The effects of atmospheric turbulence currently limit the performance of FSO communications. In this letter, we demonstrate a system capable of indiscriminately suppressing the atmospheric phase noise encountered by independent optical signals spread over a range of 7.2THz (encompassing the full optical C-Band), by actively phase stabilizing a primary optical signal at 193.1THz (1552nm). We show ~30dB of indiscriminate phase stabilization over the full range, down to average phase noise at 10Hz of -39.6dBc Hz-1 when using an acousto-optic modulator (AOM) as a Doppler actuator, and -39.9dBc Hz-1 when using a fiber-stretcher as group-delay actuator to provide the phase-stabilization system's feedback. We demonstrate that this suppression is limited by the noise of the independent optical signals, and that the expected achievable suppression is more than 40dB greater, reaching around -90dB Hz-1 at 10Hz. We conclude that 40 Tbps ground-to-space FSO transmission would be made possible with the combination of our stabilization system and other demonstrated technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9335020
Pages (from-to)1610-1614
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Communications Letters
Issue number5
Early online date21 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


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