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This paper studies optical communications using subcarrier phase shift keying (PSK) intensity modulation through atmospheric turbulence channels. The bit error rate (BER) is derived for optical communication systems employing either on/off key (OOK) or subcarrier PSK intensity modulation. It is shown that at BER = 10-6 and a scintillation level of sigma = 0.1, an optical communication system employing subcarrier BPSK is 3 dB better than a comparable system using fixed-threshold OOK. When sigma = 0.2, an optical communication system employing subcarrier BPSK achieves a BER = 10-6 at SNR = 13.7 dB, while the BER of a comparable system employing OOK can never be less than 10-4. Convolutional codes are discussed for optical communication through atmospheric turbulence channels. Interleaving is employed to overcome memory effect in atmospheric turbulence channels. An upper bound on BER is derived for optical communication systems employing convolutional codes and subcarrier BPSK modulation.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2007