Scintillation effect on intensity modulated laser communication systems: a laboratory demonstration

Wasiu Oyewole Popoola, Zabih Ghassemlooy, Chung Ghiu Lee, Anthony Boucouvalas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


This paper shows the impact of atmospheric turbulence-induced fading on the symbol decision position in the on-off keying (OOK) and the binary phase shift keying (BPSK) subcarrier intensity modulated (SIM) laser communication link. Weak turbulence is simulated in the laboratory using a chamber equipped with heating elements and fans. We have shown that in atmospheric turbulence, it is advantageous to employ modulation schemes such as pulse time and subcarrier intensity modulations that do not directly impress data on the optical irradiance as is the case with the OOK. For the OOK-modulated laser communication system, atmospheric turbulence imposes complexity on the symbol decision subsystem and by extension places a limit on the achievable bit error rate (BER) performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-692
JournalOptics and Laser Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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