In free space optical (FSO) communication, atmospheric turbulence causes fluctuation in both intensity and phase of the received light signal what may seriously impair the link performance. Additionally, turbulent inhomogeneities may produce optical pulse spreading. In this paper, a simple rate adaptive transmission technique based on the use of variable silence periods and on-off keying (OOK) formats with memory is presented. This technique was previously proposed in indoor unguided optical links by the authors with very good performance. Such transmission scheme is now extensively analyzed in terms of burst error rate, and shown in this paper as an excellent alternative compared with the classical scheme based on repetition coding and pulse-position modulation (PPM), presenting a greater robustness to adverse conditions of turbulence.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
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