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Distributed sensing with free space optics

Distributed sensing with free space optics

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A distributed sensing system utilizes multiple geographically separated sensors to observe the world. The sensor systems can process data and then transmit it, receive data and then process it, or some combination of the two. For this chapter, we will examine a distributed radio frequency (RF) sensor system set on mobile platforms. The main challenges of any distributed system are localization, synchronization, and processing capabilities. This paper presents a novel solution that utilized a free space optical (FSO) link for communication between nodes. The FSO link will aid in localization and synchronization while also providing a high-speed communications path between sensor units to allow maximum flexibility in processing optimization. An example of FSO communication link between unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) is given to show the viability of establishing multi-Gbit/s optical communication links in presence of atmospheric turbulence. Optical communication offers the advantages of sensor information exchanges at high data rates as well as secure communications needed for a number of tactical applications. Before we discuss about the distributed system, a brief introduction into signals, systems, and signal processing is provided.

Chapter Contents:

  • 14.1 Introduction
  • 14.2 Signals
  • 14.3 Distributed sensing systems
  • 14.4 Summary of a distributed system
  • 14.5 Free space optical communication between two UAVs: BER and adaptive beam divergence analysis
  • 14.6 Technical issues for mobile UAV FSO communication
  • 14.6.1 Atmospheric and turbulence effects
  • 14.6.2 Atmospheric models related to UAV FSO communication links
  • 14.6.2.1 Hufnagel-Valley (HV) model
  • 14.6.2.2 Modified Hufnagel-Valley (MHV) model
  • 14.6.2.3 SLC-Day model
  • 14.6.2.4 CLEAR1 model
  • 14.6.3 Alignment and tracking of a FSO communications link to a UAV
  • 14.7 FSO optical communication system performance in turbulence: BER and SNR calculation
  • 14.8 Data rate
  • 14.9 Beam divergence effects for inter-UAV FSO communication
  • 14.9.1 Adaptive beam divergence technique
  • 14.10 Results and discussions
  • 14.11 Conclusions and future research
  • References

Inspec keywords: free-space optical communication; atmospheric light propagation; wireless sensor networks; telecommunication security; atmospheric turbulence; sensor placement; optical links; synchronisation; autonomous aerial vehicles

Other keywords: UAV; sensor information exchanges; free space optical link; free space optics; secure communications; geographically separated sensors; distributed RF sensor system; unmanned air vehicles; localization; mobile platforms; FSO communication link; synchronization; atmospheric turbulence; distributed sensing system; radio frequency

Subjects: Free-space optical links; Optimisation techniques; Light propagation; Wireless sensor networks

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