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can an "infrared laser" be used as an optical wireless link over 1 km?

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May 27, 2013
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first of all, i'm fairly new to lasers so I apologize if the obvious doesn't seem so obvious to me....Basically, I am trying to create a project in which I can control an "infrared receiver" interfaced with a microcontroller (arduino,picaxe,basic stamp,etc) with a source of light. Normally I would achieve this by using an IR (infrared) LED (light-emitting diode) transmitter or a remote control like shown in the first link right here:
IR Remote Control of PICAXE Micro

however, remote control or IR LED transmitters can only provide so much range, as I am trying to get a range of at least 100 meters - 1,000 meters (1 KM). Conversely, I've also heard of high power IR LED transmitters providing a voice link over many miles (which would be nice if I knew how to do that) like shown in these links:
KA7OEI Optical (lightbeam) through-the-air communications page
KA7OEI - Revisiting the 107 mile optical path
MODULATED LIGHT DX

I'm not sure how this kind of range is possible to attain from just using high power LEDs though, my guess is they incorporate some sort of a fresnel lens in conjunction with the LEDs, at least that is what is stated in the following link but I have my suspicions that that could not be possible:
KA7OEI - 173 mile optical QSO

so instead of using IR LEDs, I might have to resort to a laser source, preferably "infrared lasers" like the ones displayed/sold on this website but I don't know which one to choose from:

High Power Infrared Laser Pointer ( IR Laser) - Laser power: 1w,1.5w, 2w
Professional laser : IR Laser ( Infrared Laser Pointer ) High Powerful lasers,1W, 1500mw power
High Power Burning Lasers IR Laser/ Infrared Laser - , Maximum Power 3W

An issue in which I have not addressed thus far is whether or not any of these lasers would be compatible with my infrared receiver. How would I know if they are or are not compatible with each other?? (the laser transmitter & IR receiver).

So let me just reiterate on what my ambitions are....i am trying to control an infrared receiver connected to a microcontroller using an "infrared laser" from long distance using an optical wireless link (voice link, data link, etc) . The IR receiver would receive the modulated carrier frequency signal from the invisible light & then transform the optical signal to an electric signal in which the microcontroller interfaced with the IR receiver can then be controlled from. Ideally, I would substitute the laser for an IR LED transmitter but I don't know how to achieve the range that I am looking for with it. Do any of you have any hints or suggestions on how I could go about doing this?
 

lasersbee

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
17,505
Points
113
first of all, i'm fairly new to lasers so I apologize if the obvious doesn't seem so obvious to me....Basically, I am trying to create a project in which I can control an "infrared receiver" interfaced with a microcontroller (arduino,picaxe,basic stamp,etc) with a source of light. Normally I would achieve this by using an IR (infrared) LED (light-emitting diode) transmitter or a remote control like shown in the first link right here:
IR Remote Control of PICAXE Micro

however, remote control or IR LED transmitters can only provide so much range, as I am trying to get a range of at least 100 meters - 1,000 meters (1 KM). Conversely, I've also heard of high power IR LED transmitters providing a voice link over many miles (which would be nice if I knew how to do that) like shown in these links:
KA7OEI Optical (lightbeam) through-the-air communications page
KA7OEI - Revisiting the 107 mile optical path
MODULATED LIGHT DX

I'm not sure how this kind of range is possible to attain from just using high power LEDs though, my guess is they incorporate some sort of a fresnel lens in conjunction with the LEDs, at least that is what is stated in the following link but I have my suspicions that that could not be possible:
KA7OEI - 173 mile optical QSO

so instead of using IR LEDs, I might have to resort to a laser source, preferably "infrared lasers" like the ones displayed/sold on this website but I don't know which one to choose from:

High Power Infrared Laser Pointer ( IR Laser) - Laser power: 1w,1.5w, 2w
Professional laser : IR Laser ( Infrared Laser Pointer ) High Powerful lasers,1W, 1500mw power
High Power Burning Lasers IR Laser/ Infrared Laser - , Maximum Power 3W

An issue in which I have not addressed thus far is whether or not any of these lasers would be compatible with my infrared receiver. How would I know if they are or are not compatible with each other?? (the laser transmitter & IR receiver).

So let me just reiterate on what my ambitions are....i am trying to control an infrared receiver connected to a microcontroller using an "infrared laser" from long distance using an optical wireless link (voice link, data link, etc) . The IR receiver would receive the modulated carrier frequency signal from the invisible light & then transform the optical signal to an electric signal in which the microcontroller interfaced with the IR receiver can then be controlled from. Ideally, I would substitute the laser for an IR LED transmitter but I don't know how to achieve the range that I am looking for with it. Do any of you have any hints or suggestions on how I could go about doing this?
No need to open more than one Thread asking the EXACT
SAME questions. Have already responded here....

http://laserpointerforums.com/f44/can-infrared-laser-used-optical-wireless-link-over-1-km-82843.html

It is considered Spamming the Forum and is frowned upon.



Jerry
 
Last edited:

Cyparagon

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
9,586
Points
113
Yes, it's possible. And lasers would indeed be better for this. You would collimate the laser diode the same way you would collimate an LED. A large lens or even a fresnel sheet would give the most range. Increasing power will not necesarily increase range, because the emitter size also increases. Therefore, the power density is roughly constant among different diodes. Start with ~200mW or so. Single mode, ideally.
 




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