1 February 2007 Evaluation of the scintillation loss for optical communication systems with direct detection
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In optical communications through the atmosphere, the evaluation of a link feasibility often requires the quantification of the scintillation penalty in terms of power loss. To find how much additional optical power is needed to reach the bit-error-rate (BER) requirements, the optical-power fluctuations must be characterized as well as the response of the receiver to those fluctuations. In the present analysis, the direct-detected optical power is assumed to be either lognormal or gamma-gamma distributed. To account for the dynamics of the atmospheric channel, a distinction is made between short-term and long-term BERs. For a simple On-Off Keying (OOK) modulation, expressions of scintillation losses are given for different system requirements. Specifically, an upper bound is set to any of the three following quantities: the long-term BER, the probability of having a too-high short-term BER, or the mean time during which the short-term BER is too high. Results show that, without any fade mitigation, losses under moderate scintillation are considerable. Finally, a simple code-word approach shows how scintillation losses can be reduced by channel coding.
Nicolas Perlot, "Evaluation of the scintillation loss for optical communication systems with direct detection," Optical Engineering 46(2), 025003 (1 February 2007). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.2436866

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