Slant-path coherent free space optical communications over the maritime and terrestrial atmospheres with the use of adaptive optics for beam wavefront correction

Ming Li, Wenbo Gao, Milorad Cvijetic

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16 Scopus citations


As a continuation of our previous work [Appl. Opt. 54, 1453 (2015)] in which we have studied the performance of coherent free space optical (FSO) communication systems operating over a horizontal path, in this paper we study the coherent FSO system operating over a general slant path. We evaluated system bit-error-rate (BER) in the case when the quadrature phase-shift keying (QPSK) modulation format is applied and when an adaptive optics (AO) system is employed to mitigate the air turbulence effects for both maritime and terrestrial air transmission scenarios. We adopted a multiple-layer scheme to efficiently model the FSO slant-path links. The atmospheric channel fading was characterized by the wavefront phase distortions and the log-amplitude fluctuations. We derived analytical expressions to characterize log-amplitude fluctuations of air turbulence by asserting the aperture averaging within the frame of the multiple-layer model. The obtained results showed that use of AO enabled improvement of system performance for both uplinks and downlinks, and also revealed that it is more beneficial for the FSO downlinks. Also, AO employment brought larger enhancements in BER performance for the maritime slant-path FSO links than for the terrestrial ones, with an additional striking increase in performance when the AO correction is combined with the aperture averaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-297
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 10 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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