Some limitations on optical communication reliability through Kolmogorov and non-Kolmogorov turbulence

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45 Scopus citations


In free-space optical communication links, atmospheric turbulence causes fluctuations in both the intensity and the phase of the received signal, affecting link performance. Influence of Kolmogorov and non-Kolmogorov turbulence statistics on laser communication links are analyzed for different propagation scenarios, and effects of different turbulence spectrum models on optical communication links are presented. Statistical estimates of the communication parameters such as the probability of fade (miss) exceeding a threshold dB level, the mean number of fades, and BER are derived and examples provided. The presented quantitative data suggest that the non-Kolmogorov turbulence effects on lasercom channels are more severe in many situations and need to be taken into account in wireless optical communication. Non-Kolmogorov turbulence is especially important for elevations above the boundary layer as well as for even low elevation paths over water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1229-1235
Number of pages7
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • Fading statistics
  • Optical communication
  • Optical turbulence
  • Turbulence spectrum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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