An accurate pointing system is required in free-space optical (FSO) communication links. Low energy-transmission efficiency caused by pointing errors would decline the communication system’s performance. The statistics of the detected signal or return signal values could be used to estimate the pointing parameters, whereas atmospheric turbulence brings in serious challenges. A modified moment-matching estimation method is presented in this paper. The irradiance fluctuation caused by the atmospheric turbulence is considered, and the probability density function (PDF) in a weak turbulence condition is assumed to be lognormal. This modified approach is evaluated with wave-propagation simulation data and shows significant improvement over the conventional approach. The estimation accuracy and the properties of this new approach are also discussed. Although our method is based on lognormal irradiance PDF under a weak turbulence condition, the irradiance PDF would tend to be lognormal with aperture averaging effect under moderate to strong turbulence, and the ideas can be extended with appropriate PDF models to satisfy different conditions.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
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