Effects of atmospheric turbulence and building sway on optical wireless-communication systems Academic Article uri icon


  • Urban optical wireless communication (UOWC) systems are considered a last-mile technology. UOWC systems use the atmosphere as a propagation medium. To provide a line of sight the transceivers are placed on high-rise buildings. However, dynamic wind loads, thermal expansion, and weak earthquakes cause buildings to sway. These sways distort the alignment between transmitter and receiver, causing pointing errors, the outcome of which is fading of the received signal. Furthermore, atmospheric turbulence causes fluctuations in both the intensity and the phase of the received signal, resulting in impaired link performance. A bit-error probability (BEP) model is developed that takes into account both building sway and turbulence-induced log amplitude fluctuations (i.e., fading of signal intensity) in the regime in which the receiver aperture, D0, is smaller than the turbulence coherence diameter, d0. It is assumed that the receiver has knowledge about the marginal statistics of the signal fading and the instantaneous signal-fading state.

publication date

  • January 1, 2003