This paper presents a novel shore-to-sea maritime data transmission system based on time-code diversity, using visible light in maritime environments to overcome the limitations of conventional maritime wireless communications. The proposed system is primarily comprised of existing LED-based lighthouses and maritime transceivers (marine beacons, buoys, etc.), and thus is considered cost-effective in terms of implementation. We first analyze maritime visible-light communications on the basis of the unique properties of a maritime environment, i.e. sea states (wave height, wind speed, etc.), plus atmospheric turbulence, using the Pierson-Moskowitz (PM) and JONSWAP (JS) spectrum models. It is found that the JS model outperforms the PM model, and that the coverage distance depends on the LED power and sea states. To combat maritime fading conditions that significantly degrade performance and coverage distance, we propose a time-code diversity (TCD) scheme in which the delayed versions of the original data are retransmitted using orthogonal Walsh codes. This TCD scheme is found to be superior, in that it offers three orders of magnitude in terms of BER performance, compared to a conventional (non-TCD) transmission scheme. The proposed scheme is robust and efficient in overcoming the effect of impairments present in maritime environments with a BER of approximately <TEX>$10^{-5}$</TEX>and a data rate of 100 Kbps at a distance of 1 km.

© 2015 Optical Society of Korea

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