Abstract

The sensitivity characteristics of optical receiver frontends for high-speed data communications depend on modulation format, detector type, and specific operational constraints. A general mathematical model of the receiver sensitivity that fits to analytical as well as measured data is required to compare different receiver implementations and assess the reliability of data links under varying received power as common in free-space optical communication links. In this paper, a new approach based on Q-factor modeling is presented, compared with analytical receiver models, and applied to a multitude of exemplary receiver implementations. A methodology is introduced to generally apply the model to ideal or practical binary optical receiver frontends.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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