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Applied Optics

Applied Optics

APPLICATIONS-CENTERED RESEARCH IN OPTICS

  • Vol. 45, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 2006
  • pp: 191–200

Free-space optical communication through a forest canopy

Clinton L. Edwards and Christopher C. Davis  »View Author Affiliations


Applied Optics, Vol. 45, Issue 1, pp. 191-200 (2006)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.45.000191


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Abstract

We model the effects of the leaves of mature broadleaf (deciduous) trees on air-to-ground free-space optical communication systems operating through the leaf canopy. The concept of leaf area index (LAI) is reviewed and related to a probabilistic model of foliage consisting of obscuring leaves randomly distributed throughout a treetop layer. Individual leaves are opaque. The expected fractional unobscured area statistic is derived as well as the variance around the expected value. Monte Carlo simulation results confirm the predictions of this probabilistic model. To verify the predictions of the statistical model experimentally, a passive optical technique has been used to make measurements of observed sky illumination in a mature broadleaf environment. The results of the measurements, as a function of zenith angle, provide strong evidence for the applicability of the model, and a single parameter fit to the data reinforces a natural connection to LAI. Specific simulations of signal-to-noise ratio degradation as a function of zenith angle in a specific ground-to-unmanned aerial vehicle communication situation have demonstrated the effect of obscuration on performance.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.5490) General : Probability theory, stochastic processes, and statistics
(060.4510) Fiber optics and optical communications : Optical communications
(220.0220) Optical design and fabrication : Optical design and fabrication
(220.4830) Optical design and fabrication : Systems design

ToC Category:
Optical Design and Fabrication

Citation
Clinton L. Edwards and Christopher C. Davis, "Free-space optical communication through a forest canopy," Appl. Opt. 45, 191-200 (2006)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?URI=ao-45-1-191


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References

  1. H. Willebrand and B. S. Ghuman, Free-Space Optics: Enabling Optical Connectivity in Today's Networks (Sams Publications, 2002).
  2. I. Kim, B. McArthur, and E. Korevaar, "Comparison of laser beam propagation at 785 nm in fog and haze for optical wireless communications," http://www.opticalaccess.com.
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  4. C. C. Davis and I. I. Smolyaninov, "The effect of atmospheric turbulence on bit-error-rate in an on-off-keyed optical wireless system," in Free-Space Laser Communication and Laser Imaging, D. G. Voelz and J. C. Ricklin, eds., Proc. SPIE 4489, 126-137 (2001). [CrossRef]
  5. J. M. Vose, N. H. Sullivan, B. D. Clinton, and P. V. Bolstad, "Vertical leaf area distribution, light transmittance, and application of the Beer-Lambert law in four mature hardwood stands in the Southern Appalachians," Can. J. Forest Res. 25, 1036-1043 (1995). [CrossRef]
  6. S. N. Martens, S. L. Ustin, and R. A. Rousseau, "Estimation of tree canopy leaf area index by gap fraction analysis," Forest Ecol. Management 61, 91-108 (1993). [CrossRef]
  7. W. A. Lefsky,W. B. Cohen, G. G. Parker, and D. J. Harding, "Lidar remote sensing for ecosystem studies," BioScience 52, 19-30 (2002). [CrossRef]

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