Optical Communication in Space: Challenges and Mitigation Techniques

Hemani Kaushal, Georges Kaddoum
2017 IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials  
In recent years, free space optical communication has gained significant importance owing to its unique features: large bandwidth, license-free spectrum, high data rate, easy and quick deployability, less power and low mass requirements. FSO communication uses the optical carrier in the near infrared band to establish either terrestrial links within the Earth's atmosphere or inter-satellite or deep space links or ground-to-satellite or satellite-to-ground links. However, despite the great
more » ... ial of FSO communication, its performance is limited by the adverse effects viz., absorption, scattering, and turbulence of the atmospheric channel. This paper presents a comprehensive survey on various challenges faced by FSO communication system for ground-to-satellite or satellite-to-ground and inter-satellite links. It also provides details of various performance mitigation techniques in order to have high link availability and reliability. The first part of the paper will focus on various types of impairments that pose a serious challenge to the performance of optical communication system for ground-to-satellite or satellite-to-ground and inter-satellite links. The latter part of the paper will provide the reader with an exhaustive review of various techniques both at physical layer as well as at the other layers i.e., link, network or transport layer to combat the adverse effects of the atmosphere. It also uniquely presents a recently developed technique using orbital angular momentum for utilizing the high capacity advantage of the optical carrier in case of space-based and near-Earth optical communication links. This survey provides the reader with comprehensive details on the use of space-based optical backhaul links in order to provide high-capacity and low-cost backhaul solutions.
doi:10.1109/comst.2016.2603518 fatcat:zv3fa7k2pbet3pi6gphq6izqae