Enhancing communication link performance in visible light communication
With data throughput increasing exponentially in wireless communication networks, the limited radio frequency (RF) spectrum is unable to meet the future data rate demand. As a promising complementary approach, optical wireless communication (OWC) has gained significant attention since its licence-free light spectrum provides a considerable amount of communication bandwidth. In conventional OWC systems, the information-carried signal has to be real-valued and non-negative due to the incoherent light output of the conventional optical transmitter, light emitting diode (LED). Therefore, an intensity modulation and direct detection (IM/DD) system is used for establishing the OWC link. Some modified orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) schemes have been proposed to achieve suitable optical signals. In previous research, three OFDM-based schemes have been presented, including DC-biased optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (DCO-OFDM), asymmetrically clipped optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (ACO-OFDM) and unipolar orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (U-OFDM). Basic concepts of SPAD receivers are studied and a novel application in OWC is proposed for a permanent downhole monitoring (PDM) system in the gas and oil industry. In this thesis, a complete model of the SPAD-based OWC system is presented, including some related SPAD metrics, the photon counting process in SPAD and a specific nonlinear distortion caused by passive quenching (PQ) and active quenching (AQ) recharged circuits. Moreover, a practical SPAD-based visible light communication (VLC) system and its theoretical analysis are presented in a long-distance gas pipe with a battery-powered LED and a basic on-off keying (OOK) modulation scheme. In this thesis, two novel optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (O-OFDM) technologies are proposed: non-DC-biased orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (NDCOFDM) and OFDM with single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD). The former is designed for optical multiple-input multiple-output (O-MIMO) systems based on the optical spatial modulation (OSM) technique. In NDC-OFDM, signs of modulated O-OFDM symbols and absolute values of the symbols are separately transmitted by different information carrying units. This scheme can eliminate clipping distortion in DCO-OFDM and achieve high power efficiency. Furthermore, as the indices of transmitters carry extra information bits, NDC-OFDM gives a significant improvement in spectral efficiency over ACO-OFDM and U-OFDM. In this thesis, SPAD-based OFDM systems with DCO-OFDM and ACO-OFDM are presented and analysed by considering the nonlinear distortion effect of PQ SPAD and AQ SPAD. A comprehensive digital signal processing of SPAD-based OFDM is shown and theoretical functions of the photon counting distribution in PQ SPAD and AQ SPAD are given. Moreover, based on Bussgang theorem, a conventional method for analysing memoryless distortion, close-formed bit-error rate (BER) expressions of SPAD-based OFDM are derived. Furthermore, SPAD-based OFDM is compared with conventional photo-diode (PD) based OFDM systems, and a gain of 40 dB in power efficiency is observed.