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Temporal broadening of ultrashort space-time Gaussian

pulses with applications in laser satellite communication

Deborah E. Kelly
Department of Mathematics and
Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL)
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL 32816

Cynthia Y. Young
Department of Mathematics and Florida Space Institute (FSI)
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL 32816

Larry C. Andrews
Department of Mathematics and
Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL)
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL 32816

ABSTRACT

In this paper, analytic expressions for the temporal broadening of narrowband space-time
Gaussian pulses propagating in weak optical turbulence are derived for both near and far fields.
General results are presented for nominal parameter values characterizing laser communication
through the atmosphere. Specific examples are calculated for both upper atmosphere UAV-UAV
cross-links and uplink/downlink satellite communication paths. It is shown that for both the near
and far fields, pulses on the order of 1 0-20 femtoseconds can broaden by more than 100%
whereas pulses greater than 500 femtoseconds have negligible broadening.

Keywords: temporal pulse broadening, atmospheric optics, optical pulse, laser communication

1. INTRODUCTION

The use of optical waves in laser-satellite communication (laser satcom) systems has been under investiga-
tion for the past 3 decades in the United States and for more than 15 years in Europe and Japan. Studies show that
laser satcom systems have many advantages over conventional RF and microwave systems. In particular, the high
gain nature of laser satcom systems allows for higher data transmission rates. These advantages are mainly due to
the shorter wavelengths associated with optical waves. However, because of the shorter wavelengths the reliability
of an optical communication link can be seriously degraded over that of a RF system. In addition to power loss and
beam break-up, atmospheric scattering can cause a multiple path effect which leads to a distortion of the optical
pulse shape during propagation. The received pulse is a wider (broadened) pulse, particularly for ultrashort signals
such as femtosecond pulses. This broadening is due to the combined effect of two phenomena: pulse wander and
scattering.

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Pulse broadening can be calculated from the knowledge of the two-frequency mutual coherence function
(MCF) which has been independently studied by many researchers [15. Most of these previous analyses of the
two-frequency MCF used the parabolic equation method, which is theoretically valid in all regimes of optical turbu-
lence. Unfortunately, this method yields analytic solutions for the MCF, using standard spectral models for
refractive-index fluctuations, only in the limiting case of a uniform plane wave [2]. However, Sreenivasiah and
Ishimaru were successful in calculating the two-frequency MCF for a Gaussian pulse by assuming the special case
of a Gaussian atmospheric spectral model [3]. More recently, Young et al [5] developed an analytic expression for
the two-frequency MCF based on weak fluctuation theory and the modified von Karman spectrum for refractive-
index fluctuations for the near field. Here, we repeat the calculation for the far field.

In this paper, we provide tractable analytic expressions for the pulse broadening of a narrowband space-
time Gaussian pulse propagating through clear-air weak turbulence in both the near and far fields, based on the two-
frequency MCF. We present the results for a collimated beam and provide some numerical examples applicable to
laser satellite communication.

2. PULSE BROADENING

Let us consider the problem of an input pulse applied at the transmitter (z =0) and propagating through a
random medium to a receiver located at distance z = L. We assume the input pulse p(t) is a modulated signal with
a carrier frequency w0 and amplitude v(t),
p(t) = v(t)exp(—iw0t). (1)

We furthermore assume the input waveform is a Gaussian pulse,

v(t) = exp(_t2/T) (2)

where T0 is the input half-pulsewidth defmed by the l/e point. Similarly, the output pulse at the receiver located a
distance L from the transmitter can be represented by

p0(t) = v0(t)exp(—iw0t) (3)


where v0(t) is the complex envelope ofp0(t). It is easily seen that the Fourier transform ofthe input pulse (1) is

(w) = t: v(t)exp[i(w - w0)t] dt = (w - w) (4)

where V(w) = JT0 exp(_w2T/4) is the Fourier transform of v(t) and from which we deduce that V(w)has a
spectral half-linewidth of 2/T0. A pulse is considered narrowband provided w << w0. Typical optical frequencies
are of the order iO', which means that pulses with half-pulsewidths T0 > 10 fsec are narrowband. With the latest
laser design technology feasible values of T0 lie in the range 10-100 femtoseconds. Similarly, the Fourier transform

f
of the output pulse (3) is V,(w — w) where V(w) is the Fourier transform of v0(t). Then, the complex envelope
v0(r, L; t) can be expressed in the form

v0(r,L;t) = (w)U(r,L;w0+w)exp(—iwt)dw (5)


2ir
where U (r, L; w0 + w) is the complex amplitude of the wave in atmospheric turbulence and r is a vector in the
transverse plane at propagation distance L.

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The two-point, two-time correlation function ofthe complex envelope ofthe output pulse is defined by
Bv(ri,r2,L;t1,t2) = (vo(ri,L;ti)v*(r2,L;t2))
ff00
= I I (wi)W(w2)F2(ri , r2, L; w + w1 w0 + w2)exp[—iw1t1 + iw2t2] dw1dw2
(6)
(2ir) JJ—oo

where () denotes the ensemble average, is the complex conjugate quantity and F2 (ri , r2, L; w0 + w1 , w0 + w2) is
the two-frequency MCF. The two-frequency MCF can be expressed as the product of thefree-space two-frequency
MCF, F(r1 , r2, L; k1 , k2), and a factor M2(r1 , r2, L; k1 , k2) due to atmospheric turbulence. The broadening of the
pulse is deduced from the temporal mean on-axis intensity. The temporal mean intensity is obtained byevaluating
the two-time, two-point correlation function at r1 = r2 = r and t1 = t2 = t. This leads to

(I(r, L; t)) = r,L;w0 + Wc,Wd)exp(iwdt) dwcdwd (7)


where we introduced the sum and difference frequencies

wc = 1 + w2), -d 1 '-2
(w1 (8)
in terms of these frequencies the narrowband assumption can be expressed asw << w.

3. NEAR-FIELD ANALYSIS

The near field is characterized by = 2L/kW << 1 where k is the optical wave number and W0 is the
spatial radius of the transmitted beam. Recently, Young et a! [5J developed an analytic expression for the two-
frequency MCF of a Gaussian beam pulse propagating in a weakly fluctuating random media that agrees numerical-
ly with Sreenivasiah and Ishimaru's study via the parabolic equation [3]. Using the modified von Karman spectral
model for refractive-index fluctuations given by

= O.O33C exp(—#c2/ic2)
(,c2 + Ic2
16 (9)
0

where C, is the structure parameter which is a measure of the strength of turbulence, ic is the wave number,
K0 = i/L0, km = 5.92/la, and L0 and 10 are the outer and inner scales of turbulence, respectively, Young et a! [6]
obtained for the special case r1 = r2 = r and for a collimated beam (11, = 1) [also see Eqs.(37) and (38) in the
Appendix],

F2 (r, r, L;w0 + w, Wd) exp —4 exp{ —aw + iwdL/c} (10)

where

0.391C,L,c513
a (11)
c2
and c = w0/k is the speed of light. Expression (10) is based on the narrowband assumption In order to
W2d <<w.
express the parameter a as a function of the strength of turbulence we introduce the nondimensional parameters

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Lic2
= 1.23Ck716L1116, Qo = -r• (12)

In terms of these parameters weakly fluctuating conditions are characterized by a < 1 and c can be expressed as

O.318a Q5"6
a=— w2
. (13)
0

Upon substituting Eq.(1O) into Eq.(7) we find that in the near field the temporal mean intensity is

T0 I 2r2 ) ( 2(t — L/c)2)


(I(r,L;t)) exp — (14)
-exp —_— T
where T1 is the half-pulsewidth ofthe received pulse defmed by the l/e2 point,

T1 = VUT: + 8a. (15)

4. FAR-FIELD ANALYSIS

The far field is characterized by l = 2L/kW >> 1 . As a far-field application we consider the uplink/
downlink propagation paths in a laser satellite communication system. To develop an analytic expression for the
two-frequency MCF based on the modified von Karman spectral model (9) for refractive-index fluctuations with C
height profile, we use the Hufnagel-Valley profile turbulence model for C,

C,(h) = + 2.7 x 1016exp(—h/1500) + Aexp(—h/100) (16)


O.OO594()(1O5h)'°exP(_h/'1OOO)
where v is the pseudowind in meters/second, h is the altitude in meters and A is the nominal value of C at the
Earths surface in m2/3 . Inner and outer scale models as a function of altitude are taken as

L0(h) = —,
2
10(h) := 5L0(h) (17)
1 + "(7500
2500

where 0 6<1. The Hufnagel-Valley profile turbulence model takes the variations in both the high altitude wind
speed and optical turbulence into account, making it a practical model. The outer scalemodel is based on scintilla-
tion and ranging detection and has a maximum value of 5 meters [7]. Under the narrowband assumption and for
r1 = r2 = r and a collimated beam, the two-frequency MCF in the far field is described by [see Eqs.(41) and (42)
in the Appendixi,

I L+ 2 W0r
2
)
(w +

(w + w0)2exPtw +
r2(r, r,L;w0 + wC,wd)
2(w) w0)21(l8)
where

0.391 (i + 0.17162 —
0.2876') 1sec (19)
c2

which takes both inner and outer scale effects into account, (is the zenith angle and is an integral with respect to
altitude which is evaluated numerically,

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= f'ch[L0h]'dh. (20)

In Eq.(20), h0 is the altitude of the transmitter/receiver and h1 is the altitude of the receiver/transmitter. Then,
Eqs.(7) and (18) lead to the following expression for the temporal mean intensity in the far field,

(I(r, L; t))
fw\2T[T(i+wT) + (Wor/Lc)2]
T1 + (Wor/Lc)2]5/2
(21)
x ex{ — (w0T0W0r/Lc)2 1 j 2(t_L/c_r2/2Lc)2
2[T+ (Wor/Lc)2] jexP1_ }
From Eq.(2 1) we deduce that the half-pulsewidth ofthe received beam is

T1=/T+8 (22)

which is the same expression, Eq.(1 5), as for the near field.

5. DISCUSSION OF RESULTS

The results of this paper are based on the first and second-order Rytov approximations which are valid in
the weak fluctuation regime. Weak irradiance fluctuations are characterized by r < 1 for all Gaussian beams. The
percent temporal broadening of a Gaussian pulse in the near field as a function of the initial half-pulsewidth is plot-
ted in Figs.(l) and (2). In these figures we assume a constant outer scale L0 = 10 m. In Fig.(l) the propagation
distance L is 100 km and the optical wavelength A is 1.55 m (Q0 =2.47 x 10), whereas in Fig.(2) L = 500 m
and ,\ = 0.53 m (Q0 = 4.22 x 107) . These figures show that the pulse broadening is very significant for narrow
pulses and decreases as the initial pulsewidth increases. Indeed, the pulse broadening becomes negligible for pulses
with > 500 fsec. Moreover, the pulse broadening increases with the strength of optical turbulence.

.
L 100
I 20
r
[I•--•-
a208 t 250
300

.. 200
'% ::i :2
80
_\ L= lOm
LlOOkm 0 \\ L=10m
L=SOOm
. 60 ---S

1.55m . 150 \\
\\ ?0.53m
S.'-'

40
h137km 100
h=12rn
I- 1.

20 50

20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500

Initial half-pulsewidth T0 (fsec) Initial half-pulsewidth T0 (fsec)

Figure 1 . Percentage pulse broadening as a function Figure 2. Percentage pulse broadening as a function
of initial half-pulsewidth (near field) of initial half-pulsewidth (near field)

As a near-field application we consider a UAV-UAV cross-link. The structure constant for refractive-
index fluctuations at 13.7 km is estimated from the Navy-DARPA SLC Night Model to be C = 2.0 x 1018 m2/3.
Assuming a propagation distance of 100 km, a wavelength of 1.55 m and estimating the outer scale at that altitude

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to be 10 m, we find that w0 = 1.22 x 1015 radls, a = 0.18, Q0 == 2.47 x iO and c = 4.34 x 1029. Jf we as-
sume an initial half-pulsewidth of 20 fsec, then the received pulsewidth is 27.4 fsec which corresponds to 36.7%
broadening [see Fig.(1)]. As another application consider horizontal propagation near ground level. In this example
we assume C2 = 1.7 x 1014 m2/3, L = 500 m, A = 0.53 m and L0 = 10 m. Then w0 = 3.56 x 1015 radls,
= 0.33, Q0 = 4.22 x 1O and a = 1.70 x 1027. For an initial half-pulsewidth = 100 fsec, the half-pulse-
owidth ofthe received beam is 154 fsec which corresponds to 53.6% broadening [see Fig. (2)].
As a far field application we consider the uplink and downlink propagation paths between a ground
transmitter/receiver and a satellite in a geostationary orbit (h1 = 38,500 km). Our numerical calculations are based
on the Hufnagel-Valley turbulence model (16) for C with constant wind speed of 21 m/s, the outer and inner scale
models (17), an optical wavelength of 1 .06 and a Gaussian beam with an initial beam radius of 1 .0 cm. The
results are shown in Figs.(3)-(8). Figs.(3) and (4) are for a ground-to-space uplink channel and Figs.(5) and (6) are
for a space-to-ground downlink channel. These figures show that the pulse spread increases as the zenith angle
increases and decreases as the initial pulsewidth increases. Comparison of the figures shows that the pulse broaden-
ing is significantly greater for stronger ground turbulence (A = 1.7 x iO m213) than for weaker ground turbu-
lence (A = 1.7 x lO_14 m213). However Fig.(7) reveals that the pulse spread for a downlink channel is the same
as that for an uplink channel. In Figs.(3)-(7), = 0.005 which corresponds to a maximum inner scale of 2.5 cm.
Fig.(8) compares the results when the maximum value ofthe inner scale is doubled; the inner scale appears to have
an insignificant effect on the temporal broadening ofthe pulse.

Sc . —-
140

L 120
' — ç0.0ra1
0.5rad 8L
° '
1— =0.0rad
05rad
\ .-.--.- ' .-.—.—.- =1.0rad
i.0raj
. 100 \ •E
. 30
___________
A1.7x10-14 -2/3
. A 17 10 '
80

— 60
40

20

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Initial half-pulsewidth '0 (fsec) Initial half-pulsewidth T0 (fsec)

Figure 3 . Percentage pulse broadening as a function Figure 4. Percentage pulse broadening as a function
of initial half-pulsewidth (uplink) of initial half-pulsewidth (uplink)

50
140
=0.0rad

::: :?:
I
bI 120 ç0.Srad 80 40

100
\
"
Lc10rd 30
m 2/3 A = 1.7 x i_14 m213
2..
80 0
2.. I
? = .06 tm
.0 20 w = I cm
60
0 8=0005
40 2.
10
20
0

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Initial half.pulsewidth T0 (fsec) Initial half-pulsewidth T0 (fsec)

Figure 5 . Percentage pulse broadening as a function Figure 6. Percentage pulse broadening as a function
of initial half-pulsewidth (downlink) of initial half-pulsewidth (downlink)

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80 P
90 . .
70
L
uplink
downlink L-
60 !E
50

40
\\ X=1.061m
0
.0
50

40
A= 1.7x 1013m'3
X1061m
\ W=1crn
0 w = I cm
30
1 20
\ 6=0.005
= 0.0 rad
30
20
0.0rad

10 10

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Initial half-pulsewidth T0 (fsec) Initial half-pulsewidth T0 (fsec)

Figure 7. Percentage pulse broadening as a function Figure 8. Percentage pulse broadening as a function
of initial half-pulsewidth of initial half-pulsewidth

6. CONCLUSIONS

In this paper, we obtained analytic expressions for the temporal broadening of narrowband space-time
Gaussian pulses propagating through weak optical turbulence. The narrowband assumption implies that T0 > 10
fsec, hence our results are valid for pulses with initial half-pulsewidths greater than 1 0 fsec. The near and far fields
yield the same expression for the received pulsewidth; for horizontal propagation, instead of uplink/downlink
propagation, the parameter a for the far field is the same as that for the near field. The pulse broadening depends on
the outer scale, the strength of turbulence but not on the optical wavelength and the inner scale appears to have an
insignificant effect on the pulse broadening. In addition, for uplinkldownlink propagation paths the pulse broaden-
ing also depends on the zenith angle. In both the near field and far field the temporal pulse broadening is signifi-
cantly greater for narrow pulses than for wider pulses and increases as the strength ofturbulence increases. Further-
more, the pulse broadening for uplink/downlink propagation are the same. Finally, observe that, under the narrow-
band assumption, the pulse retains its Gaussian shape in both the near field and the far field.

7. APPENDIX

The two-frequency MCF is defmed as

12(ri,r2,L;wo+c.,,i,wo+w2)=(U(ri,L;wo+wi)U*(r2,L;wo+w2)) (23)
where U (r, L; w0 + w) is the complex amplitude of the wave in atmospheric turbulence, () denotes the ensemble
average and is the complex conjugate quantity. The two-frequency MCF can be expressed as the product of the
free-space two-frequency MCF, I'(r1 , r2 , L; k1 , k2), and a factor M2(r1 , r2, L; k1 , k2) due to atmospheric turbu-
lence,

I'2(r1, r2, L; k1, k2) = r(r1, r2, L; k1, k2)M2(r1, r2, L; k1, k2) (24)
where
wo+w1 wo+w2
k1= , k2= (25)

The free-space two-frequency MCF is given by

F(r1,r2,L;k1,k2) = U0(r1,L;k1)U(r2,L;k2) (26)

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where U0(r, L; k) is the free-space optical field described by

U0(r, L; k) = (ê2 + i tan1 + i( + iA)}. (27)


A2)h'2exp{ikL
The beam parameters appearing above are defmed as follows:

A=
+ci2
=, e=c+c2
kW2
°=i+,F (28)

1/2
=1— e, w = w0 ( + c2) (29)

o=1—,
F0
(30)
kW
where k = w0/c is the wave number, W0, F0, W and F are the beam radius and phase front radius of curvature at
the transmitter and receiver, respectively. The second moment M2(r1 ,r2, L; k1 , k2) can be expressed as

M2(r1, r2, L; k1, k2) = + k)Lfk (k) dk (31)


exP{_22(k

where
+
42kik2LffKn(k)Jo[kIiri ;r21iexP[_

( )] dkd}

Vm 1 — ( m+Am), (m= 1,2), (32)

K i5 the wave number, (ic) is the spatial power spectral density of refractive-index fluctuations, J0(x) is the
Bessel function ofthe first kind of order zero and = 1 — z/L is the normalized distance.

7.1 Near field

The near field is characterized by l << 1, 2m 2L/kmW << 1 and Wm W0 for m = 1 , 2. For a colli-
mated beam (10 = 1), the beam parameters (28)-(30) and Eq.(32) reduce to

em1, e2o, AmR2m0, Ym1 (m=1,2), (33)


and for the special case r1 = r2 = r, the above approximations lead to the following expression for the free-space
two-frequency MCF (26),

F°(r,r,L;k1,k2) exp iL(k1 — k2) —? .


(34)

Under the narrowband assumption (1/k1 — 1/k2 0), Eq.(31) simplifies to

M2(r,r,L;k1,k2) exp_22(ki — (35)


k2)2Lfkfl(k)dk}.
In terms of the sum and difference frequencies

= (w1
1
+ w2) and Wd = —
(36)

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Eqs.(34) and (35) can be expressed as

0 — 2r
F2 (r, r, L; w0 + w, Wd) — ,( , (37)
exp1iwdL/c

M2(r, r, L; w0 + WC,Wd) exp{_22wL/c2fk () (38)


dK}.

7.2 Far field

The far field is characterized by >> 1, = 2L/kmW >> 1 and W Wo2m for m = 1 , 2. Then, for
a collimated beam (1l, = 1), the beam parameters (28)-(30) and Eq.(32) reduce to

emO, Arn1/1rnO, (m=1,2). (39)


For the special case r1 = r2 = r, the free-space two-frequency MCF (26) is described by

(w\2 I 2 W0r
2
)
F(r, r, L; k1, k2)
kik2exPti(L
+ )(k1 — k2) —
() (k + k) (40)

which, under the narrowband assumption, simplifies to

fw\2 I L+ 2 W0r
2
)
T(r, r, L; w0 + w, Wd ) (w + w0)2exp
)Wd 2 () (w + w0)2 . (41)

In the far field the second moment (31) yields the same expression, Eq.(35), as in the near field. However, in the
case of uplinkldownlink propagation paths in a laser satellite communication system the expression for the second
moment modifies to
(
M2(r, r, L; k1, k2) c expc —2ir2(k1 — k2)2sec /
Jh0JO
/t
ph1 poo
,c) dicdh ¶ (42)
1% J
where ( is the zenith angle, h is the altitude in meters, h0 is the altitude of the transmitter/receiver, and h1 is the
altitude of the receiver/transmitter.

8. REFERENCES

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time ofmillimeter and optical waves in rain, fog, and turbulence," Radio Science 11, 551-559 (1976).

[2] I. Sreenivasiah, Akira Ishimaru, and Shin Tsy Hong, "Two-frequency mutual coherence function and pulse
propagation in random media: an analytic solution to the plane wave case,' Radio Science 11, 775-778 (1976).

[3] I. Sreenivasiah and A. Ishimaru, "Beam wave two-frequency mutual coherence function and pulse propagation
in random media: an analytic solution," Applied Optics 18, 1613-16 18 (1979).

[4] R. Ziolkowski and J. Judkins, "Propagation characteristics of ultrawide-bandwidth pulsed Gaussian beams," J.
Opt. Soc. Am. A 9, 2021-2030 (1992).

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[5] C.Y. Young, A. Ishimaru, and L.C. Andrews, "Two-frequency mutual coherence function of a Gaussian beam
pulse in weak optical turbulence: an analytic solution," Applied Optics 35, 6522-6526 (1996).

[6] C.Y. Young, L.C. Andrews, and A. Ishimaru, "Broadening of a space-time Gaussian pulse in weak optical
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[7] C.E. Coulman, J. Vernin, Y. Coqueugniot, and J.L. Caccia, "Outer scale of turbulence appropriate to modeling
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