Impact of angular pointing error on BER performance of underwater optical wireless links
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Even in clear ocean water, underwater optical wireless communication (UOWC) is impaired not only by absorption and scattering, but also by oceanic turbulence and dynamic pointing errors which result in a fading channel, degrading the bit error rate (BER) performance. In this paper, for the first time, we quantify analytically the trade-off between geometric loss and misalignment in underwater scattering channels. A novel geometric loss model is developed which is used to compute the average BER in the presence of absorption and scattering over salinity-induced oceanic turbulence channels. Our findings suggest that UOWC systems are less sensitive to angular pointing errors due to jitter since scattering is able to alleviate such a fading effect at the expense of a higher attenuation due to geometric spread. Monte Carlo simulation results are further included to verify the developed BER expression which is valid over a wide range of signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR). Finally, the impact of inter-symbol interference (ISI) is also quantified by measuring the optical power penalty.
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