Free space optical communications through clouds: Analysis of signal characteristics

Binbin Wu, Zeinab Hajjarian, Mohsen Kavehrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Free space optical communications (FSOC) is a method by which one transmits a modulated beam of light through the atmosphere for broadband applications. Fundamental limitations of FSOC arise from the environment through which light propagates. This work addresses transmitted light beam dispersion (spatial, angular, and temporal dispersion) in FSOC operating as a ground-to-air link when clouds exist along the communications channel. Light signals (photons) transmitted through clouds will interact with the cloud particles. Photon-particle interaction causes dispersion of light signals, which has significant effects on signal attenuation and pulse spread. The correlation between spatial and angular dispersion is investigated as well, which plays an important role on the receiver design. Moreover, the paper indicates that temporal dispersion (pulse spread) and energy loss strongly depend on the aperture size of the receiver, the field-of-view (FOV), and the position of the receiver relative to the optical axis of the transmitter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3168-3176
Number of pages9
JournalApplied optics
Issue number17
StatePublished - Jun 10 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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