Feature Issue on Optical Wireless Communications (OWC)We have developed a flexible, empirical approach for optimizing the design of free-space optical communication links by using multiframe image analysis of received intensity scintillation patterns. This is a versatile way to perform aperture-averaging analysis. A high-performance digital camera with a frame-grabbing computer interface is used to capture received intensity distributions of a He-Ne laser beam propagating in weak and intermediate turbulence conditions. The aperture-averaging results demonstrate the expected reduction in intensity fluctuations due to increasing the receiver aperture diameter for various strengths of turbulence. Aperture averaging improves the bit error rate.
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