Rateless Coding for Hybrid Free-Space Optical and Radio-Frequency Communication

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Executive Summary

Free-Space Optical (FSO) transmission systems enable high-speed communication with relatively small deployment costs. However, FSO suffers a critical disadvantage, namely susceptibility to fog, smoke, and conditions alike. A possible solution to this dilemma is the use of hybrid systems employing FSO and Radio Frequency (RF) transmission. In this paper authors propose the application of a rateless coded automatic repeatrequest scheme for such hybrid FSO/RF systems. The advantages of the approach are the full utilization of available FSO and RF channel resources at any time, regardless of FSO or RF channel conditions and temporal variations, and no need for a-priori rate selection at the transmitter.

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