In this paper, a novel adaptive cooperative protocol with multiple relays using detect-and-forward (DF) over atmospheric turbulence channels with pointing errors is proposed. The adaptive DF cooperative protocol here analyzed is based on the selection of the optical path, source-destination or different source-relay links, with a greater value of fading gain or irradiance, maintaining a high diversity order. Closed-form asymptotic bit error-rate (BER) expressions are obtained for a cooperative free-space optical (FSO) communication system with Nr relays, when the irradiance of the transmitted optical beam is susceptible to either a wide range of turbulence conditions, following a gamma-gamma distribution of parameters α and β, or pointing errors, following a misalignment fading model where the effect of beam width, detector size and jitter variance is considered. A greater robustness for different link distances and pointing errors is corroborated by the obtained results if compared with similar cooperative schemes or equivalent multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems. Simulation results are further demonstrated to confirm the accuracy and usefulness of the derived results.
© 2014 Optical Society of America
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