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RoFSO: A universal platform for convergence of fiber and free-space optical communication networks

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6 Author(s)

The ever-increasing demand for capacity and quality in wireless communication links has continued to inspire researchers to innovate new design methodologies and concepts over wireless systems and networks with the ultimate aim of achieving a next-generation network. Among the emerging technologies is the radio on free-space optics system described in this article. With this technology it is possible to simultaneously transmit multiple RF signals comprising heterogeneous wireless services over FSO links using wavelength-division multiplexing technology. Moreover, the RoFSO technology can be applied as a universal platform for enabling seamless convergence of fiber and free-space optical communication networks, thus extending broadband connectivity to underserved areas. We present the design concept and highlight some experimental results obtained from performance evaluation of the RoFSO system we have developed. Using the quality metric parameters defined for the different RF service signals transmitted over the experimental RoFSO system, the results demonstrate satisfactory performance in terms of reliability and stability. Considering the potential of RoFSO technology, as demonstrated in our studies, we propose a study for standardization work in the ITU, which can lead to its rapid adoption.

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Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 2 )