DF Relayed Subcarrier FSO Links over Malaga Turbulence Channels with Phase Noise and Non-Zero Boresight Pointing Errors

George K. Varotsos, Hector E. Nistazakis*, Wilfried Gappmair, Harilaos G. Sandalidis, George S. Tombras

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Subcarrier free-space optical (FSO) systems using coherent recovery techniques at the receiver have acquired growing research interest in recent times. However, their optimal performance is diminished by the non-perfect synchronization of carrier frequency and phase, which is mainly due to phase noise problems. Moreover, turbulence and pointing error effects further deteriorate the overall performance. However, relay transmission schemes can extend the coverage distance and offer substantial improvements over fading conditions. In this respect, we consider a serially relayed network using decode-and-forward relays, and investigate its performance by means of average symbol error probability and mean outage duration. Turbulence is modeled by the recently unified M(alaga) distribution, which constitutes a very general statistical model that accurately describes the irradiance fluctuations from weak-to-strong turbulence conditions. Additionally, the presence of non-zero boresight pointing errors due to misalignment between the transmitter–receiver pair is considered, while the effect of phase noise is specified by a Tikhonov distribution. A comparison between single line-of-sight and serially relayed FSO configurations is provided as well. Novel approximated mathematical expressions are deduced, which are proved to be accurate enough over a wide range of turbulence strengths and signal-to-noise values. Finally, proper numerical results are presented and validated by Monte Carlo simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number664
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • free-space optics (FSO)
  • multi-hop transmission
  • atmospheric turbulence
  • phase noise
  • Pointing Errors

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Theoretical


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