Experimental Characterisation and Modelling of Atmospheric Fog and Turbulence in FSO

Muhammad Ijaz

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Free space optical (FSO) communication uses visible or infrared (IR) wavelengths to broadcast high-speed data wirelessly through the atmospheric channel. The performance of FSO communications is mainly dependent on the unpredictable atmospheric channel such as fog, smoke and temperature dependent turbulence. However, as the real outdoor atmosphere (ROA) is time varying and heterogeneous in nature as well as depending on the magnitude and intensity of different weather conditions, carrying out a proper link assessment under specific weather conditions becomes a challenging task. Investigation and modelling the ROA under diverse atmospheric conditions is still a great challenge in FSO communications. Hence a dedicated indoor atmospheric chamber is designed and built to produce controlled atmosphere as necessary to mimic the ROA as closely as possible. The experimental results indicate that the fog attenuation is wavelength dependent for all visibility V ranges, which contradicts the Kim model for V <0.5 km. The obtained result validates that Kim model needs to be revised for V <0.5 km in order to correctly predict the wavelength dependent fog attenuation. Also, there are no experimental data and empirical model available for FSO links in diverse smoke conditions, which are common in urban areas. Therefore, a new empirical model is proposed to evaluate the wavelength dependent fog and smoke attenuation by reconsidering the q value as a function of wavelength rather than visibility. The BER performance of an FSO system is theoretically and experimentally evaluated for OOK- NRZ, OOK-RZ and 4-PPM formats for Ethernet line data-rates from light to dense fog conditions. A BER of 10-6 (Q-factor ≈ 4.7) is achieved at dense fog (transmittance, T = 0.33) condition using 4-PPM than OOK-NRZ and OOK-RZ modulation schemes due to its high peak-to-average power ratio albeit at the expense of doubling the bandwidth. The effects of fog on OOK-NRZ, 4-PAM and BPSK are also experimentally investigated. In comparison to 4-PAM and OOK-NRZ signals, the BPSK modulation signalling format is more robust against the effects of fog. Moreover, the effects of using different average transmitted optical communication powers Popton the T and the received Q-factor using the OOK-NRZ modulation scheme are also investigated for light and dense fog conditions. The results show that for an FSO system operating at a Q-factor of 4.7 (for BER = 10-6), the required Q-factor is achieved at T of 48% under the thick fog condition by increasing Popt to 1.07 dBm, whereas the values of T are 55% and ~70% for the transmit power of 0.56 dBm and -0.7 dBm, respectively. The experimental characterisation and investigation of the atmospheric turbulence effect on the Ethernet and Fast-Ethernet FSO link is reported using different modulation schemes. The experiment is carried out in a controlled laboratory environment where turbulence is generated in a dedicated indoor atmospheric chamber. The atmospheric chamber is calibrated to mimic an outdoor turbulence conditions and the measured data are verified against the theoretical predictions. The experiment also demonstrates methods to control the turbulence levels and determine the equivalence between the indoor and outdoor FSO links. The results show that the connectivity of Ethernet and Fast-Ethernet links are highly sensitive to atmospheric turbulence. The results also show that the BPSK and OOK-NRZ modulation signalling formats are more robust against the weak atmospheric turbulence conditions than PAM signal.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Northumbria University
  • Ghassemlooy, Fary, Supervisor
  • Le Minh, Hoa, Supervisor
Award date1 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


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