This Letter presents a multi-hop relay visible light communication (VLC) system for maritime applications. Maritime VLC systems suffer from limited coverage distance due inherently to the usage of light-emitting diodes and photodetectors. The proposed system employs a multiple of decode-and-forward relays to extend coverage distance in maritime environments. The multi-hop relay based maritime VLC is analyzed under a maritime channel modeled by the JONSWAP spectrum and gamma–gamma distribution. It is found that the use of relays in maritime environments can extend the coverage distance significantly and also improve the performance. In addition, the performance of the system is analyzed using various combining techniques at the receiver to enhance the performance. The maximal ratio combining technique is found to provide superior link quality in maritime environments.
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