Abstract

Optical wireless communication (OWC) systems use the atmosphere as a propagation medium. However, a common problem is that from time to time moderate cloud and fog emerge between the receiver and the transmitter. These adverse weather conditions impose temporal broadening and power loss on the optical signal, which reduces the digital signal-to-noise ratio (DSNR), produces significant intersymbol interference (ISI), and degrades the communication system’s bit error rate (BER) and throughput. We propose and investigate the use of a combined adaptive bandwidth mechanism and decision feedback equalizer (DFE) to mitigate these atmospheric multipath effects. Based on theoretical analysis and simulations of DSNR penalties, BER, and optimum system bandwidths, we show that a DFE improves the outdoor OWC system immunity to ISI in foggy weather while maintaining high throughput and desired low BER.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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