Multilevel Modulation for Free Space Optical (FSO) Communications and Error Correction Methodology

Introduction Wireless optical links, or free space optics (FSO), enable point-to-point, high-speed communication with low installation costs and high levels of security, and they are especially useful in situations where fiberoptics are impractical. Unfortunately, this technique suffers from signal scattering and attenuation during certain weather conditions—such as rain, fog, or smog—that can deteriorate or even sever the connection. More universally robust methodologies would better position this technology as a viable replacement for conventional fiberoptics. Technology Description Professors Kuga, Ishimari, and Jaruwatanadilok at the University of Washington have developed the methodology for estimating the effects of adverse weather conditions on optical signal strength in order to prevent signal degradation in wireless optical links, or free space optics (FSO). Utilizing known functions for approximating meteorological conditions, this methodology enables the estimation of channel information from compromised optical paths in order to improve the received signal. This technique has been developed to utilize either one or two wavelengths and to require minimal, if not negligible, computational times. Business Opportunity The ability to efficiently and effectively enhance wireless optical links, or free space optics
(FSO), presents opportunities in all fields of communication. FSO communications already provide many advantages over conventional fiberoptic solutions, and being able to retain full capabilities even under adverse weather conditions would elevate this technology as a superior and cost-effective alternative to conventional modes of communication under many circumstances. Stage of Development A working methodology for this technology is in development. Intellectual Property Position The UW is currently reviewing this technology for worldwide patent protection.

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