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Characterization of Fog and Snow Attenuations for Free-Space Optical Propagation

Muhammad Saleem Awan1, Laszlo Csurgai Horwath2, Sajid Sheikh Muhammad3, Erich Leitgeb1, Farukh Nadeem1, and Muhammad Saeed Khan1
1. Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
2. Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary
3. National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST-NU), Lahore, Pakistan

Abstract— Free Space Optics (FSO) is now a well established access technology, better known for its robustness in transmitting large data volumes in an energy efficient manner. However the BER performance of a FSO ground-link is adversely affected by cloud coverage, harsh weather conditions, and atmospheric turbulence. Fog, clouds and dry snow play a detrimental role by attenuating optical energy transmitted in terrestrial free-space and thus decrease the link availability and reliability. We measured the time variation of received optical signal level during continental fog and dry snowfall over a link distance of 80 m. We perform a detailed analysis of the continental fog and dry snow attenuation results and further characterise them by presenting some useful attenuation statistics and also showing their comparison with the corresponding measured density values collected by a particle sensor device. We propose also an empirical relationship between temperature, relative humidity and optical attenuation values for the continental fog case based on standard curve fitting technique.

Index Terms— Free Space Optics, cumulative distribution function (CDF) exceedance probability, visibility range, specific attenuation, particle density.

Cite:Muhammad Saleem Awan , Laszlo Csurgai Horwath , Sajid Sheikh Muhammad , Erich Leitgeb , Farukh Nadeem , and Muhammad Saeed Khan, "Characterization of Fog and Snow Attenuations for Free-Space Optical Propagation," Journal of Communications, vol. 4, no.8, pp.533-545, 2009