Designing an optimized free space optical (FSO) link for terrestrial commercial applications under turbulent channel conditions

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Optical and Quantum Electronics


An abrupt surge in demand for high speed services and the advent of data-hungry frameworks such as the Internet of Things will add further to the congestion woes of the existing radio-frequency regime. Free space optical (FSO) communication technology has emerged as a promising contender to deliver high-speed data access but the performance is at times severely limited by channel turbulence. In this work, we propose an aperture averaged and optimized FSO link whose design parameters have been strategically chosen to meet the needs of diverse applications such as smart offices, smart houses, and Industry 4.0. Our investigations reveal that irrespective of channel turbulence and beam divergence profiles, the forward error correction compatible bit error rate (BER) of 10- 3 can be accomplished at the receiver at a very reasonable value of signal-to-noise ratio ranging between 20.3 and 38.2 dB. The proposed link also exhibits excellent BER stability as a change of merely of the order of 102 in BER was detected despite the worsening of channel conditions. Furthermore, in pursuit of optimizing receiver aperture size, it was found that although an aperture size of 30 cm yields improved link performance over 15 cm aperture, the latter is highly recommended for commercial applications due to its sheer ability to deliver promising BER while allowing compact design size for the receivers.

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