Optical wireless links with spatial diversity over strong atmospheric turbulence channels

Theodoros A. Tsiftsis, Harilaos G. Sandalidis, George K. Karagiannidis, Murat Uysal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Optical wireless, also known as free-space optics, has received much attention in recent years as a cost-effective, license-free and wide-bandwidth access technique for high data rates applications. The performance of free-space optical (FSO) communication, however, severely suffers from turbulence-induced fading caused by atmospheric conditions. Multiple laser transmitters and/or receivers can be placed at both ends to mitigate the turbulence fading and exploit the advantages of spatial diversity. Spatial diversity is particularly crucial for strong turbulence channels in which single-input single-output (SISO) link performs extremely poor. Atmospheric-induced strong turbulence fading in outdoor FSO systems can be modeled as a multiplicative random process which follows the K distribution. In this paper, we investigate the error rate performance of FSO systems for K-distributed atmospheric turbulence channels and discuss potential advantages of spatial diversity deployments at the transmitter and/or receiver. We further present efficient approximated closed-form expressions for the average bit-error rate (BER) of single-input multiple-output (SIMO) FSO systems. These analytical tools are reliable alternatives to time-consuming Monte Carlo simulation of FSO systems where BER targets as low as 109 are typically aimed to achieve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4786457
Pages (from-to)951-957
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Atmospheric turbulence
  • Bit-error rate (BER)
  • Free-space optical communication
  • K distribution
  • Optical wireless
  • Spatial diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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