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The main drawback in communicating via the free space optical channel is the detrimental effect the atmosphere has on a propagating laser beam. Atmospheric turbulence causes random fluctuations in the irradiance of the received optical laser beam, commonly referred to as scintillation. The scintillation fading process is slow compared to the large data rates typical of optical transmission. As such, the authors adopt a quasi-static block fading model and study the outage probability of the channel under the assumption of orthogonal pulse-position modulation. Non-ideal photodetection is also assumed such that the combined shot noise and thermal noise are considered as signal-independent additive Gaussian white noise.
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