Abstract

Sandstorms can severely affect the reliability of outdoor optical wireless communications (OWC) by diminishing large regions’ visibility. In this work, the effect of a real sandstorm on optical camera communications (OCC) links is experimentally evaluated. Two link ranges are essayed using a cost-efficient telescope-based camera setup with commercial LEDs. Using on–off keying modulation, a data rate of 1035 and 630 bps with error probabilities of $9.14 \cdot {10^{- 5}}$ and $4.1 \cdot {10^{- 3}}$ for 100 m and 200 m, respectively, can be achieved. The signal-to-noise ratio of the links was optimized by tuning the analog amplifier’s gain of the camera, increasing it by up to 9 dB. It is shown that scattering due to the sandstorm can even be beneficial for increasing the data rate in OCC (contrary to classical photodetector-based OWC links), thanks to an increment of 33% on the region of interest dimensions compared to the expected clear air link.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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