Realtime ground measurement of atmospheric parameters critical to free space optical communication

Jean-Edouard Communal

Space to ground optical communications requires precise knowledge of cloud cover, turbulence, and absorption. This data is critical at several stages: • Survey and selection of potential OGS sites. • During operation of an OGS to measure link availability and bandwidth • To predict atmospheric conditions over the OGS network in order to balance and optimize performance We present the Integrated Sky Monitor, ISM, a device monitoring the sky and atmosphere in a single, compact, rugged, industrial carrier grade package. The ISM array of sensors provides all-sky high-resolution images both in the visible and thermal range along with measurements of the atmospheric turbulence by day and night, incoming integrated solar energy, sky brightness, integrated water vapor, and other relevant atmospheric parameters