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Advances in Optical Technologies
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 167129, 8 pages
Research Article

Implementation of a Phase Only Spatial Light Modulator as an Atmospheric Turbulence Simulator at 1550 nm

1U. S. Naval Research Laboratory, Freespace Photonics Communications Office, Code 5505, Washington, DC 20375, USA
2Sandia National Laboratories, 1515 Eubank Boulevard, SE Albuquerque, NM 87123, USA
3U. S. Naval Research Laboratory, Wavefront Sensing & Control, Code 7216, Albuquerque, NM 87101, USA
4Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064, USA

Received 25 February 2014; Revised 12 June 2014; Accepted 30 June 2014; Published 6 August 2014

Academic Editor: Partha P. Banerjee

Copyright © 2014 Carlos Font et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Modeling and simulating atmospheric turbulence in a controlled environment have been a focus of interest for scientists for decades. The development of new technologies allows scientists to perform this task in a more realistic and controlled environment and provides powerful tools for the study and better understanding of the propagation of light through a nonstatic medium such as the atmosphere. Free space laser communications (FSLC) and studies in light propagation through the atmosphere are areas which constantly benefit from breakthroughs in technology and in the development of realistic atmospheric turbulence simulators, in particular (Santiago et al. 2011). In this paper, we present the results from the implementation of a phase only spatial light modulator (SLM) as an atmospheric turbulence simulator for light propagation in the short-wave infrared (SWIR) regime. Specifically, we demonstrate its efficacy for its use in an FSLC system, at a wavelength of 1550 nm.