Brian C. Page

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Byron M. Welsh, PhD

Second Advisor

Michael C. Roggemann, PhD


This study investigated the technological feasibility of a man- portable satellite laser communications system. Areas of interest were an end- to-end system analysis on the communications link evaluation of atmospheric effects and evaluation of semi-conductor lasers as the laser source. A literature search revealed that satellite laser communication research is primarily directed at inter-satellite links. There have been some proposed systems for space-to-ground laser communications systems, but they all utilize large fixed ground stations. The focus of this research effort is directed at a small man-portable ground station capitalizing on recent advances in semiconductor laser devices. Baseline satellite communication systems were analyzed for both conventional radio frequency systems and a laser communication system. Modifications to the laser communications system were explored, and found to be feasible for some applications. Atmospheric effects were explored and are a major contributor to system degradation. Semiconductor laser sources were evaluated and are currently useful for some satellite laser communication applications.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



The author's Vita page is omitted.