In this paper, we derive the average bit error rate (BER) of subcarrier multiplexing (SCM)-based free space optics (FSO) systems using a dual-drive Mach-Zehnder modulator (DD-MZM) for optical single-sideband (OSSB) signals under atmospheric turbulence channels. In particular, we consider the third-order intermodulation (IM3), a significant performance degradation factor, in the case of high input signal power systems. The derived average BER, as a function of the input signal power and the scintillation index, is employed to determine the optimum number of SCM users upon the designing FSO systems. For instance, when the user number doubles, the input signal power decreases by almost 2 dBm under the log-normal and exponential turbulence channels at a given average BER.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
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