A GaN blue laser diode (BLD)-based visible-light communication link is demonstrated in a seawater environment to provide 16-quadrature amplitude modulation orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (QAM OFDM) data transmission at 14.8 Gbps over 1.7 m. Lengthening the seawater distance to 10.2 m only decreases the transmission data rate by 4 Gbps, as caused by the frquency response limitation of the used avalanche photodiode. To optimize the QAM-OFDM transmission, the sampling rate of the encoded data is compromised to avoid the aliasing and oversampling effects during the waveform extraction procedure. The sampling rate is optimized to 3–5 times of the encoded data bandwidth for suppressing peak-to-average power ratio. Oversampling not only filters out background noise but also attenuates data amplitude to degrade transmission performance. Without using the multicarrier spectrally filtered OFDM, the 16-QAM OFDM data format only promotes the transmission capacity of BLD up to 7.6 Gbps in seawater. With spectrally filtering out the sidelobes of each OFDM subcarrier, the allowable modulation bandwidth is greatly improved from 1.9 to 2.7 GHz, as the intercarrier interference induced crosstalk between subbands is relieved to improve the SNR of the carried data with a raw data rate of up to 10.8 Gbps.
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