Optical Engineering • Open AccessAtmospheric effects on availability of free space optics systems
The availability of free space optics (FSO) systems in dependence on weather conditions and on FSO link parameters, such as transmitted optical power, beam divergence, receiver sensitivity or link path distance, is discussed. A number of phenomena in the atmosphere, such as absorption, scattering, and turbulence, can affect beam attenuation, but in the case of wavelengths typical of FSO systems operation, only scattering and turbulence are appropriate to be taken into consideration. We model the power loss caused by turbulence by using the Rytov scintillation theory. Attenuation due to scattering, which can be expressed as a function of the link distance, wavelength, and meteorological visibility, is calculated from visibility data collected at several airports in Europe. Statistical evaluation of the attenuation caused by scattering and the power link margin calculated from FSO link parameters are used for calculating the link availability.