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2011 Third International Conference on Communications and Mobile Computing

Evaluation of Forward Error Correction Scheme for Underwater Wireless Optical Communication

Xinsheng Yu, Weiwei Jin, Meihong Sui
Key Lab. of Submarine Geosciences and Prospecting Techniques, Ministry of Education Ocean University of China Qingdao , 266100, China
Abstract—The advantage of optical wireless communication of high bandwidth and low cost makes it appeal for underwater communication applications. In this paper, an underwater optical communication system with On-Off Key modulation and forward error correction coding scheme is evaluated. The simulated results show that the bit error rate of RS (ReedSolomon) code has better performance than BCH (Bose Chaudhuri Hocquenghem) scheme. At the bit error rate of 10-5, the signal noise ratio of RS code can be improved around 4dB in comparison with un-coded system. The results suggested that the error control coding technique could be a useful way to improve the reliability of optical communication in unreliable oceanography environment. Keywords- underwater comunication; optical system; forward error correction ;bit error rate wirelesst

Zhigong Lan
CNOOC Energy Technology & Services Limited, Beijing Branch Beijing, 100027, China communication and mission coordination wirelessly with free swimming underwater vehicle in a expand distance. The most common optical communications modulation scheme used for free space optical link is on-off key (OOK) and this modulation method has been usually adopted in underwater wireless optical link due to its simplicity in system implementation [2-4]. However, compared to atmospheric environment, ocean water is a more complex medium for light propagation and to improve the performance of underwater optical communication is very challenging. Different modulation techniques have been evaluated to improve the performance of underwater optical wireless systems [5,6]. However, the use of forward error correction (FEC) to improve optical wireless communication at a lower signal to noise ratio environment has rarely reported [14]. In this paper, we evaluated the LED (light Emitting Diode) based optical wireless system with forward error correction scheme to improve the performance of optical communication for underwater applications. Two types of FEC schemes were investigated by considering the trade off bit error rate, data rate and implementation complexity. It is shown that RS coding scheme has a better performance and can be implemented for robust data transmission in noisy environment. II. CHARACTERISTICS OF UNDERWATER OPTICAL CHANNEL



Currently, there are lots of efforts at using underwater vehicles, gliders and mooring systems for the spatial and temporal measurements in oceanography research [1]. Sensor data collected by these platforms is usually internally recorded and then transmitted via a cable or wireless communication. Collecting underwater data is a crucial task. Although radio frequencies have enjoyed large success in free space, they experience high attenuation in water and typically not used for underwater communication. Acoustic technology has advantage to transmit data over a long distance in water. However, the attenuation of the acoustic carrier and the effects of multi-path reflection will ultimately limit the data rate and bandwidth for a large amount data communication and even at the short range the bandwidth is limited to sub-Mbps. This brings a "bottleneck" problem for a large amount of data collection (such as multi-sensor data, image information, etc.). Wireless optical communication have shown promise of supporting large bandwidths, high data transfer rate, small in size, low power consumption, immune to electromagnetic interference. Thus, underwater wireless optical communication can be an alternative way to share large amounts of data quickly for underwater data transmission. By incorporating optical wireless system into autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), we can make use of AUV to approach to the location of seabed observatories or mooring systems to gather logged data and then to transport the data package to research ships within short range. It provides an alternative solution for real time data
978-0-7695-4357-4/11 $26.00 © 2011 IEEE DOI 10.1109/CMC.2011.49 527

The optical properties of sea water are function of water salinity, water temperature, and concentration of dissolved organic and inorganic matter, suspended particles and organisms. The attenuation of the light beam in sea water is much more serious than in the atmosphere. Lighting power attenuated in water is mainly dominated by wavelength dependent processes, absorption and scattering. The main cause of light absorption in water is excitation of vibration state of the water molecule by photons and other dissolved particles and detritus. Scattering of light refers to processes in which the direction of the photon is changed and it is caused either by molecules or by dissolved particulate. According to ref. [7], the attenuation coefficient KT (λ) is expressed as following: (1) KT ( λ ) = K A ( λ )+ K S ( λ )


K A (λ ) is the total absorption coefficient and

K (λ) =aw(λ)+a2(λ)C +62.6039⋅C ⋅exp(0.12327C −0.0189λ) T c c c +3.6402⋅C ⋅exp(0.12343C −0.01105λ)+0.005826(400/λ)4.322 (5) c c +0.01739×C ×exp(0.11631 c)×1.151302(400/λ)1.7 C c +0.76284×C ×exp(0.03092C )×0.341074(400/λ)0.3 c c Cc is the average concentration of Chl a and biopigments in the ocean water to a depth of 1 attenuation length.

The lighting power at the receiver end after transmitted at a distance r can be expressed as follows:

K (λ) is total scattering coefficient. s
A −K e ≈ 2r2 πθ



(λ )r



Where A is the reception area, θ is beam divergence angle, P is transmitting power, KT (λ) is the total diffuse T attenuation coefficient for spectral irradiance. In shallow water, the total diffuse attenuation coefficient KT (λ) were assumed to be influenced by the chlorophyll so that the attenuation was re-written as following: KT (λ)=Kw(λ)+KCDOM(λ)+Kchl (λ)+Kd (λ) (3) Where,

K W (λ ) (

m−1 ) is the spectral irradiance

attenuation coefficient for clear ocean waters,

K CDOM ( λ )

( m−1 ) is the spectral irradiance attenuation coefficient for colored dissolved organic matter, which usually named yellow substance. K chl ( λ ) ( m−1 (mg pigment m−3 ) is the specific spectral irradiance attenuation coefficient due to chlorophyll-like pigments, K d (λ ) is the spectral irradiance attenuation coefficient for drossy.
Figure 2. Chlorophyll concentration of more than 1, the optical power of different wavelengths

In this work, it is assumed that the chlorophyll was distributed homogeneously throughout the water column, and the transmission distance r is 10m. According to equations (4) and (5), we analyzed the affects of attenuation coefficient at different chlorophyll concentration on visible light theoretically and the results are shown in Fig. 1and Fig. 2 respectively. It is indicated that for the different wavelengths of light, the transmission characteristic is diverse when transmitting in different chlorophyll concentration. It is shown that when in high concentration chlorophyll, the attenuation effect on blue, green and cyan light becomes serious. And the green and blue spectrums have better characteristic in chlorophyll medium. III.

Figure 1. Chlorophyll concentration of less than 1, the optical power of different wavelengths

CMMUNICATION SYSTEM A. Optical Wireless Communication System In this study, we use light emitting diode with wavelength at 470 nm, transmitted output power as 136 mW and the divergence angle of 0.6 mrad. A simple OOK modulation is used to transmit the optical pulse. For the receiver end, S5493-01 photodiode (Hamamatsu Company) is adopted to receive the optical signal. For OOK demodulation format, it is used to compare the received voltage with the threshold to decide"1" or "0". In an AWGN channel model, the received voltage is defined as: ⎧i + n (t ) "1" ⎪s c (6) p(t) = ⎨ "0" ⎪ nc(t ) ⎩

According to ref. [7] and [8], the total attenuation coefficient can be defined as following When Cc < 1 :

K (λ) =aw(λ)+a(λ)C +62.6039⋅C ⋅exp(0.12327C −0.0189λ) T 1 c c c +3.6402⋅C ⋅exp(0.12343C −0.01105λ)+0.005826(400/λ)4.322 c c +0.01739×C ×exp(0.11631 c)×1.151302(400/λ)1.7 C c
. If Cc following: (4)

+0.76284×C ×exp(0.03092C)×0.341074(400/λ)0.3 c c

> 1 , the attenuation can be re-writtened as



nc (t ) is Gaussian process.

The quality of received optical signal is affected by two factors. One is caused by water medium during light transmission; the other is additive white Gaussian noise [9]. Therefore, the signal to noise ratio (SNR) at the receiver can be estimated by the following [10].



t r e − KT (λ )r 8π r 2 hc R w r

η λ GP A



is the detector quantum efficiency, G is the

photo multiplication gain of the detector, transmitted power of the LED,

Pt is the

Figure 4. The block diagram for BSH code and OOK modulation system simulation

receiving aperture, R is the data rate, r is the transmission distance, h is Planck constant , KT (λ) is the total diffuse attenuation coefficient. B. FEC Simulation Reed Solomon (RS) and Bose Chaudhuri Hocquenghem (BCH) coding was chosen for the underwater optical wireless system evaluation, because they are widely used to improve underwater acoustic communication systems, and have shown reasonably robust in error correction and simple to implementation [11, 12]. RS code works by over-sampling a polynomial constructed from the data. The polynomial is evaluated at several points, and these values are sent or recorded. As long as it receives the points correctly, the receiver can recover the original polynomial even in the presence of a few bad points. BCH code is generalized form of hamming codes and it makes use of polynomial derived from finite fields to encode and decode data. Their performance can be calculated by using of n=2m-1, where m=3,4….[13]. Since there is no well established theoretical model for the underwater communication channel, the white Gaussian noise channel is used for the simulation as shown in Fig. 3.

A is the area of the r

To test the effectiveness of the proposed RS and BCH coding system, we conducted performance simulation experiments with Matlab Simulink package. Both (255, 207), and (127, 85) were used for forward error correction which was represented the code rate of 0.812 and 0.669 respectively. The block diagram of the BCH coding system model is illustrated in Fig. 4, and Fig. 5 is the block diagram of RS coding system model.

Figure 5. The block diagram for RS code and OOK modulation system simulation

Figure 3. Matlab simulation of underwater Optics channel

C. Simulation Results The SNR is the principal parameter that affects the performance of received optical signal and BER is the parameter that describes the way a digital communication link behaves and how we can rely on it. Thus, we evaluated the bit error rate (BER) performance with different error correction schemes. The numerical simulations results of un-coded OOK system and OOK system with BCH and RS coding for undersea communication are shown in Fig. 6. From the Fig. 6, we can see that the error control coding scheme has better performance than un-coding system in poor SNR environment for optical communications. It is suggested that the error control coding system can possibly allow the optical wireless system operate in a higher attenuation environment. The results also suggest that it is possible to increase the optical link range at a fixed BER by incorporating the error control coding scheme.


the water property, data rate and BER performance when implementing an error correcting coding system. In the future, the underwater optical wireless experimental system will be constructed to verify our simulation results. ACKNOWLEDGMENT We are grateful for the support from National "863" HiTech program under grant number 2006AA09Z177 and 2009AA09Z201, and the support from CNOOC Energy Technology & Services Limited (JDBF-XXJS-08-ZC-066). REFERENCES
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Figure 6. The comparesion of similation for results

[2] [3]

By comparing RS coding scheme with BCH coding method, it is shown that the RS code gives better performance than BCH code. It is noted that (172, 85) coding has better performance than (255, 207) coding scheme. Although the (15, 5) has the best performance, it should note that it will reduce the data rate for the communication (data rate is about 0.3). Therefore, for a underwater optical communication system design, it should take into account the trade off between the BER and data rate. IV. CONCLUSIONS Underwater optical communication faces a challenging question in error handling due to the ocean is a very noisy environment. Establish the reliable data transmissions could be beneficial in underwater optical communications. Channel coding could possibly be used to improve the bit error rate of the received data. In this paper we evaluated the performance of forward error correction coding schemes for underwater optical wireless application. The simulation results suggest that the channel coding can improve the optical communication performance significantly. The simulation results shows that (172, 85) coding has better performance than (255, 207) coding scheme. It also shows that the performance of RS code is better than BCH code. The signal noise ratio of RS coding can be improve up to 4dB at the 10-5 bit error rate environment. The results show that by incorporating the error control coding technique in optical wireless system, it could be used to improve the reliability to transmit optical signal in the complex oceangraphy environment. It is noted that for underwater applications, it is required to trade off

[4] [5]


[7] [8] [9]




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