A high-speed (Gbps), free space optical communication system is based on spectral encoding of radiation from a wide band light source, such as a laser. By using partially coherent laser beams in combination with a relatively slow photosensor, scintillations can be suppressed by orders of magnitude for distances of more than 10 km. To suppress the intensity fluctuations due to atmospheric turbulence, a source with partial transverse coherence in combination with slow response time photodetector is used. Information is encoded in the spectral domain of a wideband optical source by modulation of spectral amplitudes. A non-coherent light source with wide spectrum (an LED, for example) may be used for high-speed communication over short (less than about a mile) distances.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.