Enhancing communication link performance in visible light communication
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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.