When used in an outdoor environment to expedite networking access, the performance of wireless optical communication systems is affected by transmitter sway. In the design of such systems, much attention has been paid to developing power-efficient schemes. However, the bandwidth efficiency is also an important issue. One of the most natural approaches to promote bandwidth efficiency is to use multilevel modulation. This leads to multilevel pulse amplitude modulation in the context of intensity modulation and direct detection. We develop a model based on the four-level pulse amplitude modulation. We show that the model can be formulated as an optimization problem in terms of the transmitter power, bit error probability, transmitter gain, and receiver gain. The technical challenges raised by modeling and solving the problem include the analytical and numerical treatments for the improper integrals of the Gaussian functions coupled with the erfc function. The results demonstrate that, at the optimal points, the power penalty paid to the doubled bandwidth efficiency is around .
© 2008 Optical Society of America
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