Journal of Optical and Fiber Communications Reports

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 345–396

Free-space laser communication performance in the atmospheric channel


DOI: 10.1007/s10297-005-0054-0

Cite this article as:
Majumdar, A. J Optic Comm Rep (2005) 2: 345. doi:10.1007/s10297-005-0054-0


In spite of the tremendous technical advancement of available components, the major limitation of free-space laser communication (lasercom) performance is due to the atmosphere, because a portion of the atmospheric path always includes turbulence and multiple scattering effects. Starting from a fundamental understanding of the laser communications system under diverse weather conditions, this chapter provides a comprehensive treatment of the evaluation of parameters needed for analyzing system performance. The significance of higher-order statistics of probability density functions of irradiance fluctuations due to turbulence to performance analysis is explained. Starting from link analysis, the necessary expressions relating link margin, bit-error-rate, signal-to-noise-ratio, and probability of fade statistics are presented. Results for laboratory-simulated atmospheric turbulence and multiple scattering are presented. Example numerical results for simulations of lasercom systems operating under various atmospheric conditions are presented for various scenarios such as uplink-downlink (e.g., between ground and satellite, aircraft or UAV) and horizontal (terrestrial) link. Both turbulence and multiple scattering effects have been included in the analysis with both on-off keying and pulse-position modulation schemes. Statistical estimation and computation of communication parameters presented in this chapter will be useful in designing and optimizing lasercom systems that are reliable under all weather conditions.

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LCResearch, Inc., 30402 Rainbow View Drive, Agoura Hills, California 91301USA