Free-space optical communications with generalized pointing errors

Fan Yang, Julian Cheng, Theodoras A. Tsiftsis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Citations (Scopus)


Free-space optical links are vulnerable to atmospheric fading and pointing errors. When a laser beam wanders, most previous works model the random radial displacement distance of the pointing error as a Rayleigh distributed random variable. However, for a non-ideally fast-tracked laser beam, the radial displacement distance at the receiver aperture may not obey the Rayleigh distribution, since the displacements in vertical and horizontal directions may not always follow a zero-mean Gaussian distribution. In this paper, we generalize a widely used pointing error model by assuming that the radial displacement distance follows a Rician distribution and derive a closed-form probability density function (PDF) of the generalized pointing error model. Furthermore, we derive closed-form PDFs for the composite lognormal and Gamma-Gamma turbulence channels using this generalized pointing error model. Error rate performance is also studied for an on-off keying signaling system with intensity modulation and direct detection in the presence of this generalized pointing error.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2013
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781467331227
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event2013 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2013 - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: Jun 9 2013Jun 13 2013

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Communications
ISSN (Print)1550-3607


Other2013 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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