Free-space optical communication: detector array aperture for optical communication through thin clouds

Arnon Shlomi, Norman S Kopeika

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Optical communication must contain clouds as parts of communication channels. Propagation of optical pulses through clouds causes widening in the spatial domain and attenuation of the pulse radiant power. These effects decrease the received signal and increase bit error rate (BER). One way to improve the BER of the communication system is by using adaptive methods to obtain more signal relative to noise power. Based on mathematical models of spatial widening of optical radiation derived by Monte Carlo simulation, a mathematical model for optimum performance of digital optical communication through clouds is developed. The purpose of the optimum adaptive communication system suggested here is to improve the BER by optimizing according to meteorological conditions the spatial distribution of the detected radiation beam using a detector array where the external amplification of each detector is adaptable. Comparison and analysis of three models of communication systems in fog cloud channels are presented: (1) the optimum adaptive detector array aperture, (2) an ordinary single detector aperture of the same size, and (3) a small detector aperture. Improvement of more than four orders of magnitude in BER under certain conditions is possible with the new adaptive system model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-522
Number of pages5
JournalOptical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995


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