A High-speed Reconfigurable Free Space Optical Communication System Utilizing Software Defined Radio Environment

Htay, Zun (2023) A High-speed Reconfigurable Free Space Optical Communication System Utilizing Software Defined Radio Environment. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Free space optical (FSO) communication allows for high-speed data transmissions while also being extremely cost-effective by using visible or infrared wavelengths to transmit and receive data wirelessly through the free space channel. However, FSO links are highly susceptible to the effects of the atmosphere, particularly turbulence, smoke, and fog. On the other hand, FSO itself does not provide enough flexibility to address the issue of such blockage and obstruction caused by objects and atmospheric conditions. This research investigates, proposes, and evaluates a software defined multiple input multiple output (MIMO) FSO system to ensure link availability and reliability under weather conditions as part of the last mile access in the 5th generation, 6th generation, and beyond. Software defined radio (SDR) technology is adopted in order to provide a certain degree of flexibility to the optical wireless communications system. The scope of this research focuses on the design, validation, implementation, and evaluation of a novel adaptive switching algorithm i.e., activating additional transmitters of a MIMO FSO system using a software defined ecosystem. The main issues are the compactness of the experimental design; the limitation of software-oriented signal generation; robustness; reliability; and the quality of service. As part of the system design, the thresholding method, a decision-making process via the feedback link, and a spatial diversity technique is adopted to carry out the adaptive switching. The adaptive switching is performed via a feedback link in which the atmospheric loss and scintillation index are calculated for fog and turbulence respectively. The initial design is implemented in SDR/ GNURadio for a real-time emulation of the proposed system to enhance the system flexibility of a traditional MIMO FSO system. A bit-by-bit comparison is performed with the GNURadio signal processing block and BERT for a real-time BER estimation. However, based on the initial results, the switching mechanism can only overcome the effect of turbulence at a certain level. A new design to mainly mitigate the varying fog conditions is proposed based on the SDR-based adaptive switching for a gigabit ethernet (GbE) MIMO FSO system and tested in a 5 m dedicated atmospheric chamber. The proposed system is implemented using off-the-shelf components such as a media converter, small form pluggable transceivers, optical switch, and power meter to estimate the channel state information. A new Schmitt trigger-based thresholding method is also introduced. The proposed software defined GbE MIMO FSO with an adaptive switching algorithm is fabricated, implemented, and investigated. The results are also compared with the real-time simulated data. Since the purpose of this Ph.D. is to explain and demonstrate the proof of concept for the proposed SDR-MIMO FSO system, the emphasis has been on the design, evaluation, and minimal performance requirements rather than maximizing the data rate. The outcome of the thesis will be a huge degree of flexibility and mitigation property MIMO FSO can offer with the help of SDR. It will be shown that the designed system has the capability to provide data transmission with 99.999% availability with a packet error rate and data rate of 7.2 ×10−2 and ~120 Mbps respectively, under extremely harsh fog conditions with visibility V of < 11 m.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: MIMO FSO, Adaptive Algorithms, Adaptive Switching, Atmospheric Conditions, Mitigation Techniques
Subjects: H100 General Engineering
H600 Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2023 10:23
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2023 10:30
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/51618

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