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JOURNAL OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS, VOLUME 29, ISSUE 1, JANUARY 2015

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Improving the Performance of DWDM Free
Space Optics System under Worst Weather
Conditions
Ibraheem Abdulah, Hayder Ali
Abstract—Multiple transmitters/receivers (TX/RX) with travelling wave Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (SOA) is one of
technologies that used to eliminate the effect of weather conditions such as dense fog and heavy dry snow on free space optical
communication link. This technology is used to improve the quality of Free Space Optics (FSO) communication system and
increase the maximum transmission range.In this paper we used simulation tool Optisystem toimplemente the architecture of
multiple TX/RX system with travelling wave Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (SOA) under dense fog atmospheric condition. By
evaluating the maximum Q factor and the maximum transmission range of FSO link we can compare between used multiple
transmitters/receivers (TX/RX) with travelling wave Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (SOA) and without travelling wave
Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (SOA).
Index Terms—FSO; DWDM; Dense Fog; Heavy dry snow; Semiconductor Optical Amplifier(SOA); Multiple TX/RX.

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1 INTRODUCTION

T

he global increase in demand for broadband communications has led to the development of new and
enabling technologies to support the conventional
methods such as the coaxial cable, copper, microwave and
radio frequency (RF) systems. Optical Wireless Communications(OWC) has benefited from the developments in
optoelectronics and can be a key technology for achieving
cost-effective high-speed optical links. The Optical Wireless Communications (OWC) is the technology in which
modulated optical signal is propagated over free space
without using optical fiber medium [1,2].
There are several significant advantages offered by
FSO technology: 1)FSO technology is very high bandwidth availability. 2) low cost per bit 3) Not require digging and permissionfrom authorities for installation.
4)No licensing or frequency allocating is required. 5) FSO
terminals are portable and quickly deployable. 6) The
narrow beam of the laser makes detection, interception
and jamming verydifficult. 7) free-space optical communication is faster than fiber-optic communication because
the light travels faster through air (at approximately
300,000 km/s) than it does through glass (approximately
200,000 km/s). 8) low power consumption [2,3,4,5].
The factors limiting the performance of FSO communication systems are:1)FSO has a very crucial drawback which is highly attenuated by weather condition like
fog ,rain and snow that causes scattering and absorption .
2)FSO communication systems can also be affected by
pointing errors due to weak earthquakes, strong winds,
and thermal expansion and cooling. 3)The radiated power
must not exceed the limits established by the International Electro-technical Commission Standards.4)The light
beam of FSO communications can't penetrate trees, hills
or buildings. A clear line-of-sight path must exist between
the light transmitter and the receiver. 5)Heated air rising
from the ground or rooftops creates temperature variations among different air pockets. As a consequence, the

refractive index may vary in a time dependent and randomness manner along the line of sight of the link, giving
rise to scintillations over the beam cross section. These
scintillations appear as power fluctuation in the receiver
[6,7,8,9,10].
Fog and snow are the most important atmospheric
attenuators influencing the optical signals transmission in
free space . In fog, the attenuation is nearly independent
of the wavelength.Generally, the severe attenuation
caused by dense fog results in poor availability of the FSO
links [11,12].
Another important attenuating factor is snow that
causes reduced the link availability. The amount of light
attenuation is proportional to number and size of snow
particles .A large snowflake can cause link failure if laser
beam is narrow[13].
Multiple transmitters/receivers (TX/RX) system is
the proposed architecture that can be used to improve the
quality of FSO link . In case of heavy atmospheric attenuation such as fog attenuation in the path of data
processing, multiple TX/RX system with travelling wave
semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) is better performance of FSO link [14].
This technology can be used to improve the performance of FSO link under heavy dry snow weather
condition.
Commercially available FSO equipment tends to
operate in two frequency bands; 780- 900 nm and 15001600 nm. Lasers in the 780-900 nm band are less expensive and therefore usually selected for applications over
moderate distances, while the 1550 nm wavelength is arguably the most attractive for reasons including the low
absorption characteristic of air in this wavelength, and the
availability of more transmittable optical power compared to the 800 nm wavelength under the eye safety
standards [2,15].

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2 OPTICAL AMPLIFIER

be calculated from equation (1)[22]:

Optical amplifiers have become essential components in optical communication systems and have successfully replaced electrical repeaters as a means of
compensating for optical signal loss. An advantage offered by optical amplifiers over repeaters include the
fairly large gain bandwidth offered by the optical amplifier which makes it practical for Wavelength Division
Multiplexing (WDM) whereby a singleamplifier can amplify multiple signals on different wavelengths simultaneously, while without the optical amplifier separate
repeaters would be needed for each wavelength. Additionally, optical amplifiers are easily adaptable for many
bit rates and signal modulation formats without a need
to replace the amplifier, while the repeaters are designed
to work at a particular bit rate (or at around only one
wavelength) and modulation format[16,17] .
Similarly FSO communication systems can benefit
from using an optical amplifier in various ways. The optical preamplifier configuration can be used to boost optical signal strength which has been degraded due to various atmospheric phenomena, to overcome the eye-limit
restrictions on transmitted laser power, to suppress the
limiting effect of the receiver thermal noise generated in
the electronic amplifier, as well as to effectively improve
receiver sensitivity[18,19].
Basically there are two types of optical amplifiers
that can be used in wireless optical communication systems: semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) and amplifier Erbium doped fiber (EDFA) . SOA is better than
EDFA for small area networks due to its various properties 1) SOA is compact and easily integrated with other
devices. 2) The much smaller size and weight of the
SOAs than the EDFAs. 3) High-speed capability, and low
switching energy. 4) SOA amplifiers have Large BW. 5)
SOA can operate at 800, 1300, and 1500 nm wavelength
regions(unlike the EDFAs which are restricted mainly to
the C-band . 6)The cost of SOA is also low compared
with the EDFAs. 7). The pump power requirement of
SOA is also low it is less than 400 ma[20,21]. 𝐴𝐹𝑜𝑔

3 THE FOG ATTENUATION
Fog can be described as a cloud of small particles
of water, smoke, ice or combination of these near the
earth surface thereby scattering the incident light and
hence reducing the visibility [11] . The commonly ways
to calculate attenuation in case of fog droplets are usedvisibility data for finding specific attenuation due to fog.
The atmospheric visibility is defined as a distance where
the 550 nm collimated light beam is attenuated to a fraction (5% or 2%) of an original power[12]. The visibility is
measured at 550 nm which is the wavelength corresponding to maximum intensity of solar spectrum.
The transmissiometer usually operate at 550 nm
center wavelengths with 250 nm bandwidth to collect
visibility data in meteorological stations or at airports.
The FSO systems operate at wavelengths, mostly at 850,
950 or 1550 nm center wavelength. The wavelength 550
nm is used as visibility reference [13]. The two most widely used models are the Kruse model and the Kim model.
According to these models, the Fog attenuation (𝐴𝐹𝑜𝑔 )can 𝑑𝐵 𝑘𝑚

=

10 log 𝑉℅ 𝑉𝑘𝑚

13𝑑𝐵
(𝜆 𝜆 )−𝑞 ≈ 𝑉𝑘𝑚

° 𝜆𝑛𝑚

550𝑛𝑚

−𝑞

(1)

Where: 𝑉=Visibility, 𝑞=particle size distribution
cient, 𝜆° =wavelength.
The wavelength dependency in this expression is
expressed by q, which is in the a) Kruse’s Model:Particle
size distribution coefficient inKruse’s Model is given by
equation (2):
1.6 𝑖𝑓
𝑉 > 50𝑘𝑚 𝑖𝑓
6𝑘𝑚 > 𝑉 > 50𝑘𝑚 𝑞
= 1.3
0.585𝑉1/3 𝑖𝑓
𝑉 < 6𝑘𝑚

(2)

b) Kim’s Model:Kim’s Model is applicable at very high
attenuations. Particle size distribution coefficient in Kim’s
Model is given by equation (3):
1.6 𝑖𝑓
𝑉 > 50𝑘𝑚
1.3 𝑖𝑓
6𝑘𝑚 < 𝑉 < 50𝑘𝑚 𝑞
= 0.16 𝑉 + 0.34 𝑖𝑓 1𝑘𝑚 < 𝑉 < 6𝑘𝑚 3 𝑉
− 0.5 𝑖𝑓
0.5𝑘𝑚 < 𝑉 < 1𝑘𝑚
0 𝑖𝑓
𝑉 < 0.5𝑘𝑚

The main difference between these models is that
the Kruse model assumes a wavelength dependency and
the Kim model assumes wavelength independent attenuation for dense fog conditions.Measurements of light attenuation at different wavelengths in dense fog conditions [23] .

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THE SNOW ATTENUATIONS

The snowflakes are generally larger than rain
drops and cause much larger received signal strength
fluctuation and significant snow attenuation consequently. The snowflakes as large as 20 mm have been reported
and such a large snowflake can cause link failure if laser
beam is narrow. When a snowflake crosses the laser
beam, the receive signal level depends on the diameter of
the snowflake and distance from the transmitter, as well
as the position of the snowflake relative to the cross section of the beam [22] .
The optical signal attenuation due to snow weather
condition as a function of wavelength to the snowfall intensity(S) in (mm/h). The attenuations due to snowfall are
modeled based on categorization into dry and wet snow
types and the specific attenuation is given by the following equation (4)[24]: 𝐴𝑠𝑛𝑜𝑤
= 𝑎𝑆 𝑏 𝑑𝐵 𝑘𝑚

(4)

Here parameters 𝑎 and 𝑏 categorize snowfall type and for
the two types of snow have values as:
• For wet snow : 𝑎 = 1.023 ∗ 10−4 𝜆 + 3.7855466 , 𝑏 = 0.72
• For dry snow : 𝑎 = 5.42 ∗ 10−5 𝜆 + 5.4958776 , 𝑏 = 1.38
From equation (4) the specific attenuation by dry
snow is much higher than specific attenuation caused by
wet snow.

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RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

Using Optisystem software, an implementation of
the proposed multiple TX/RX system architecture with
travelling wave SOA in an FSO link has been simulated.
Parameters in table (1) were used to analyze the performance. The final Link construction has been represented
in Figure(1).

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TABLE 1
PARAMETERS OF MULTIPLE TX/RX SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE WITH
TRAVELLINGWAVE SOA IN FSO LINK
value

parameters

value

Transmission Bit Rate

2.5 Gb/s

Receiver aperture diame-

15cm

ter
Number

of

WDM

16

channel

Transmitter

optics

effi-

0.8

ciency

Frequencies of WDM

(193.1-194.6)THz

Receiver optics efficiency

Without SOA
With SOA

0.55

Max. transmission range[km]

parameters

Dense fog weather condition
0.65

0.45

0.8
0.35

channels
Frequency spacing

100GHz

Signal Attenuation (Fog)

260 dB/km
0.25
10

Modulation Type

NRZ(Non Return

Signal Attenuation (Snow)

260 dB/km

850 nm

Additional losses

12 dB

15cm

Photodetector Type

PIN diod

to Zero)
Transmitter Wavelength
Transmitter

aperture

14

16
18
Transmitter power[dBm]

20

22

24

Figure(2) shows the maximum transmission range of 16-channel
DWDM FSO 10TX/10RX system with the increasing of transmitter
power by using travelling wave SOA and without travelling wave
SOA under dense fog weather condition.

diameter
Injection Current of travellingWave SOA

12

Heavy dry snow weather condition
1.3
Without SOA
With SOA

0.209 A
1.2

Max. transmission range[km]

1.1

1

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6

0.5
10

Figure(1)The block diagram of the 16-channel DWDM FSO with
multiple TX/RX system and using travelling wave SOA.

The results that obtained from simulated shown in figures(2-5):
i) Figures(2,3) show the maximum transmission
range of 16-channel DWDM FSO10TX/10RX system
withthe increasing of transmitter powerby using travelling wave SOA and withouttravelling wave SOA under
dense fog and heavy dry snow weather condition respectively. These figures shown that maximum transmission
range of system increases for increasing of transmitter
power under these conditions. The transmission range of
system increasing from 0.284km at transmitter power(10dBm) to 0.332km at transmitter power(24dBm) without travelling wave SOA and increasing from 0.577km at
transmitter power(10dBm) to 0.628 km transmitter power(24dBm)with travelling wave SOA under dense fog
weather condition and from 0.513km at transmitter power(10dBm) to 0.607km at transmitter power(24dBm) without travelling wave SOA and increasing from 1.080km at
transmitter power(10dBm) to 1.179 km transmitter power(24dBm)with travelling wave SOA under heavy dry
snow weather condition.

12

14

16
18
Transmitter power[dBm]

20

22

24

Figure(3) shows the maximum transmission range of 16-channel
DWDM FSO 10TX/10RX system with the increasing of transmitter
power by using travelling wave SOA and without travelling wave
SOA under heavy dry snow weather condition.

ii) Figures(4,5) present the maximum transmission
range of 16-channel DWDM FSO system withthe increment of TX/RX number by using travelling wave SOA
and withouttravelling wave SOA at transmitter power(24dBm) for each under dense fog and heavy dry snow
weather condition, respectively .
These figures show that maximum transmission
range of system increases for incrementing of TX/RX
number . The transmission range of system increasing
from 0.263km at 1TX/1RX to 0.332km at 10TX/10RX without travelling wave SOA and increasing from 0.555km at
1TX/1RX to 0.628 km at 10TX/10RX with travelling wave
SOA under dense fog weather condition and from
0.513km at 1TX/1RX to 0.607km at 10TX/10RX without
travelling wave SOA and increasing from 1.081km at
1TX/1RX to 1.179 km at 10TX/10RX with travelling wave
SOA under heavy dry snow weather condition.

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Dense fog weather condition
0.65
Without SOA
With SOA
0.6

Max.transmission range[km]

0.55

0.5

0.45

0.4

0.35

0.3

0.25

1

2

3

4

5
6
Number of TX/RX

7

8

9

10

Figure(4) shows the maximum transmission range of 16-channel
DWDM FSO system with the incrementing of TX/RX number by
using travelling wave SOA and without travelling wave SOA under
dense fog weather condition.

Heavy dry snow weather condition
1.3
Without SOA
With SOA
1.2

Max.transmission range[km]

1.1

1

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6

0.5

0.4

1

2

3

4

5
6
Number of TX/RX

7

8

9

10

Figure(5) shows the maximum transmission range of 16-channel
DWDM FSO system with the incrementing of TX/RX number by
using travelling wave SOA and without travelling wave SOA under
heavy dry snow weather condition.

6 CONCLUSION
The results of implementation and simulation of
our system proved the performance improvement of 16channel DWDM FSO system by using multiple TX/RX
system with travelling wave semiconductor optical amplifier under dense fog and heavy dry snow weather
conditions.
This paper investigated that maximum transmission range and Q factor increases for both increasing of
transmitter power or number of TX/RX of system under
these weather conditions.
This study provides designers with a wide range of
system conditions that can be applied practically and
maybe failed the system.

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