A Contemporary Survey on Free Space Optical Communication: Potential, Technical Challenges, Recent Advances and Research Direction

by   Abu Jahid, et al.

Optical wireless communication (OWC) covering an ultra-wide range of unlicensed spectrum has emerged as an extent efficient solution to mitigate conventional RF spectrum scarcity ranging from communication distances from nm to several kilometers. Free space optical (FSO) systems operating near IR (NIR) band in OWC links has received substantial attention for enormous data transmission between fixed transceivers covering few kilometers path distance due to high optical bandwidth and higher bit rate as well. Despite the potential benefits of FSO technology, its widespread link reliability suffers especially in the long-range deployment due to atmospheric turbulence, cloud induced fading, some other environmental factors such as fog, aerosol, temperature variations, storms, heavy rain, cloud, pointing error, and scintillation. FSO has the potential to offloading massive traffic demands from RF networks, consequently the combined application of FSO/RF and radio over FSO (RoFSO) systems is regarded as an excellent solution to support 5G and beyond for improving the limitations of an individual system. This survey presents the overview of several key technologies and implications of state-of-the-art criteria in terms of spectrum reuse, classification, architecture and applications are described for understanding FSO. This paper provides principle, significance, demonstration, and recent technological development of FSO technology among different appealing optical wireless technologies. The opportunities in the near future, the potential challenges that need to be addressed to realize the successful deployment of FSO schemes are outlined.


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