Title of Presentation: Assessment Of The Atmospheric Channel For Short (Ka-Band And Optical) Wavelengths

Primary (Corresponding) Author: Sabino Piazzolla

Organization of Primary Author: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Co-Authors: Joseph Shaw, Paul W. Nugent


Abstract: Atmospheric turbulence under clear sky conditions is an impairment of the atmospheric channel that greatly affects propagation of optical signal in the troposphere. The turbulence manifests itself in a number of forms within the optical domain, from the twinkling of a star in a clear night, to resolution degradation in a large aperture telescope. Therefore, a body of analytical, numerical, and experimental tools has been developed in optics to study, simulate, and control effects of atmospheric turbulence on an optical signal. Incidentally, there has been an increasing demand for high data rate returns from NASA missions which has led to envision utilizing a carrier signal in the Ka-Band range. The impact of atmospheric turbulence effects must be evaluated and considered for this frequency domain. The purpose of this work is to show that when the turbulence strength from the optical case to the Ka-Band case is properly scaled, one can apply the same mathematical/simulation developed for optical to predict turbulence effects within the Ka-Band domain. As a demonstration of this principle, we present how the scintillations of a Ka-Band downlink return of a deep space signal was successfully reproduced through wave-optics simulation.