Abstract

Free-space optical (FSO) communication is known for its various impairments such as atmospheric turbulence and misalignment fading. In this paper, we study the performance of an FSO link operating under combined path loss and atmospheric and misalignment fadings. We derive a closed-form expression for the bit error rate (BER) of the FSO link in such conditions when the on–off keying (OOK) modulation is employed and when the fluctuations of the received signal are modeled by Gamma–Gamma distribution. In addition, we evaluate the effects of the combined fadings on the outage probability of the FSO link for different strengths of turbulence and pointing errors. Furthermore, we investigate the advantages of combining radio frequency (RF) with FSO to form hybrid FSO/RF systems. The RF link is based on 16 quadrature amplitude modulation (16-QAM) and on Rician channel fading. We study the performance of the hybrid FSO/RF system in terms of outage probability and BER and find that the hybrid FSO/RF system can overcome the weaknesses of FSO links, which are sensitive to atmospheric variations and misalignment fading.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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