The terrestrial optical wireless communication links have attracted significant research and commercial worldwide interest over the last few years due to the fact that they offer very high and secure data rate transmission with relatively low installation and operational costs, and without need[...] Read more.
The terrestrial optical wireless communication links have attracted significant research and commercial worldwide interest over the last few years due to the fact that they offer very high and secure data rate transmission with relatively low installation and operational costs, and without need of licensing. However, since the propagation path of the information signal, i.e., the laser beam, is the atmosphere, their effectivity affects the atmospheric conditions strongly in the specific area. Thus, system performance depends significantly on the rain, the fog, the hail, the atmospheric turbulence, etc. Due to the influence of these effects, it is necessary to study, theoretically and numerically, very carefully before the installation of such a communication system. In this work, we present exactly and accurately approximate mathematical expressions for the estimation of the average capacity and the outage probability performance metrics, as functions of the link’s parameters, the transmitted power, the attenuation due to the fog, the ambient noise and the atmospheric turbulence phenomenon. The latter causes the scintillation effect, which results in random and fast fluctuations of the irradiance at the receiver’s end. These fluctuations can be studied accurately with statistical methods. Thus, in this work, we use either the lognormal or the gamma–gamma distribution for weak or moderate to strong turbulence conditions, respectively. Moreover, using the derived mathematical expressions, we design, accomplish and present a computational tool for the estimation of these systems’ performances, while also taking into account the parameter of the link and the atmospheric conditions. Furthermore, in order to increase the accuracy of the presented tool, for the cases where the obtained analytical mathematical expressions are complex, the performance results are verified with the numerical estimation of the appropriate integrals. Finally, using the derived mathematical expression and the presented computational tool, we present the corresponding numerical results, using common parameter values for realistic terrestrial free space optical communication systems.