Practical implementation and performance study of a hard-switched hybrid FSO/RF link under controlled fog environment
Lee, I. E.
Ng, W. P.
Khalighi, M. A.
- Publisher: IEEE
Free-space optical (FSO) communications | Fog attenuation | Hard switching | Hybrid FSO/RF link
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The availability and performance of terrestrial free-space optical (FSO) communication systems are heavily deterred by the fluctuating conditions of the atmospheric channel, particularly in the presence of visibility-limiting fog effects. In this paper, we examine the viability of deploying hybrid FSO and radio frequency (RF) links through an experimental study, which takes advantage of a dedicated laboratory atmospheric chamber to emulate the fog scenarios encountered on outdoor environment. In particular, a root mean square power detector is developed and introduced in the system under study to monitor the signal quality of the primary FSO link. The quasi-linear output voltage characteristics of the power detector device is utilized as a useful decision metric to implement hard switching in a hybrid FSO/RF link based upon the changes in the visibility. Our measurement results reveal that the selection of a desirable threshold voltage is dependent upon the intended data rate and minimum achievable bit error rate, in order to enable effective switching between the FSO and RF links.