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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Block error rate of optical wireless communication systems over atmospheric turbulence channels Zhang, Qian


Optical wireless communication (OWC) is an innovative and promising technology introduced in recent decades, and it can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications. Outdoor OWC is also an attractive solution to the access network bottle-neck. However, challenges can arise for OWC links with increased atmospheric turbulence levels due to time-varing temperatures and pressures, resulting fading or scintillation. This thesis studies and analyzes the block error rate performance of subcarrier intensity modulation based OWC systems employing both noncoherent and coherent binary modulations over various atmospheric turbulence channels. The block error rate is a meaningful performance metric in the slow fading turbulence channels because the fading coefficients are constant over the duration of a block of bits. For the Gamma-Gamma turbulence channels, we obtain highly accurate block error rate expressions in terms of an infinite series for noncoherent binary modulations. With coherent binary phase shift keying, we first propose a new sum of exponentials approximation of the Gaussian Q-function, and then develop the corresponding block error rate expression. For the lognormal turbulence channels, we use the Gauss-Laguerre quadrature method to obtain an accurate estimation of the block error rate.

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